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What is the problem with shipping in the Arctic?

What is the problem with shipping in the Arctic?

Map of the Arctic region showing the bathymetry and the Northeast Passage, the Northern Sea Route within it, and the Northwest Passage.

Transport crisis in the Russian Arctic!

International sanctions threaten Russia’s ability to safely manage the logistics of the Arctic. 

Remote Arctic towns worry their vital shipments will face delays for far too long. The Arctic has a weak logistical supply chain with a huge reliance on shipping vessels to sustain themselves.

“As a result of the actions by unfriendly countries, a series of transport and logistics chains have been broken,” according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The remarks occurred at last week’s meeting on Arctic developments.

“Undoubtedly, this creates certain difficulties in the current situation,” Putin said. In addition the Russian president stated “we have all the resources and opportunities to quickly find alternative solutions.”

Putin has consistently said the international sanction on Russia as a result of their invasion of Ukraine would not affect the Russian economy. However, here Vladimir Putin admits:

“the most serious consequence of the international sanctions is connected with logistical schemes for exports.”

In a further admission of the sanction trouble Russia faces. Russian Central Bank Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina said that the economy will “require Russian companies to find new partners and new logistics schemes for their production.”

Nuclear-powered container ship “Sevmorput” is to play key role in this year’s delivery of goods across the Russian Arctic. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Despite these setbacks Putin has made it clear how vital the Arctic is to Russia’s future.

In conclusion, President Putin said:

“The Arctic must to the full extent be provided all its needed goods and services,” furthermore the Russian President called the Arctic: “a task of special importance.”

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Ice-class tanker “Shturman Skuratov” is one of the ships carrying oil from Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port field in Yamal. Photo: Atle Staalesen

What is the problem with shipping in the Arctic?