Map of Arctic sea routes and SAR areas (source: Arctic Portal)As recently reported by TASS, a Russian news agency, "Russia may develop the Northern Sea Route jointly with Asian countries , which are interested in the shortest route for supplies from Asia to Northern Europe", as stated by the  Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev . "I suppose that it is not absolutely correct to develop the Northern Sea Route by Russia only. The project is huge and requires a lot of money. It does not only facilitate transportation from the Far East, but also from China, South Korea, Japan, and, correspondingly, our neighbors must have a chance to join this project if they are interested in it, but, obviously, Russia must hold a controlling stake," he said.

Although in 2014 Arctic shipping thawed, with a decrease of about 50% on the total number of vessels sailing through Arctic waters, the potential cargo transportation via the Northern Sea Route is estimated at 50 million tons per year, according to the Russian news agency.

The Northern Sea Route can cut the voyage distance from South Korea to northern European countries by up to 7,000 kilometers from the 22,000-kilometer journey when using the conventional shipping route through the Indian Ocean, it is far less congested than the route via the Suez canal, and maybe be exempted by piracy attacks.

Read more at TASS

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