Foreign Ministry: Russia will ensure safe navigation and environmental protection along Northern Sea Route
Russia will do everything that is necessary to make sure that ships operating on the Northern Sea Route navigate safely and the local environment is protected, Sergei Belyaev, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second European Department, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"Being a littoral state, Russia is fully responsible under international law for what goes on along the route and will do everything that is necessary to ensure safe navigation and protection of the very fragile environmental system in the region," he stated.
The diplomat also pointed out the Northern Sea Route's key advantages.
"The main advantage is that it is much shorter for freight transportation from Europe to Asia and the Pacific countries. Other plusses include unlimited throughput capacity compared to, for example, the Suez Canal. The shipping conditions are relatively safe, too," he noted.
Belyaev thinks that the traffic along the Northern Sea Route will increase along with the intensifying activity of gas and oil companies in the Arctic, including on the Yamal Peninsula.
"Russia's goal is to develop the Northern Sea Route. We are very experienced when it comes to arranging non-stop operation at high latitudes and our plans are to expand the port infrastructure, as well as the navigation and hydrographic capacities of that transport artery, and to improve its search and rescue system," he added.