Norway to inspect NSR for conformity to environmental standards
The Norwegian authorities are not planning to take part in developing the Northern Sea Route but suggest that it should be inspected for conformity to sea route environmental standards, Foreign Minister of Norway Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide said in an interview with Izvestia.
"So far, the route is operating under the existing agreements. But it should be inspected for conformity to the environmental standards that apply to the sea routes in the Arctic. As far as I can see, the NSR has serious problems regarding just about everything, from search and rescue and inadequate infrastructure along the entire route to an extremely forbiddinFg climate. This makes the plan to turn the route into what many would like to see as a profitable and commercially viable project much more difficult to implement," she said.
According to Ms Søreide, Norway is not planning to offer the use of Svalbard (Spitzbergen) ports as part of the NSR.
"Svalbard is part of the Norwegian territory and is not to be discussed in the context of this project. We are yet to study this possibility, taking into account Norway's sovereignty over the island as well as the NSR's environmental impacts and its conformity to the environmentalists' requirements," Izvestia quotes her as saying.