Map of the Arctic region showing the Northern Sea Route, in the context of the Northeast Passage, and Northwest Passage[1]
Map of the Arctic region showing the Northern Sea Route, in the context of the Northeast Passage, and Northwest Passage[1]

The Northern Sea Route (Russian: Се́верный морско́й путь, Severnyy morskoy put, shortened to Севморпуть, Sevmorput) is a shipping route officially defined by Russian legislation as lying east of Novaya Zemlya and specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and within Russia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Parts are free of ice for only two months per year. The overall route on Russia's side of the Arctic between North Cape and the Bering Strait has been called the Northeast Passage, analogous to the Northwest Passage on the Canada side.

While the Northeast Passage includes all the East Arctic seas and connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Northern Sea Route does not include the Barents Sea, and it therefore does not reach the Atlantic.[1][2][3]

Melting Arctic ice caps are likely to increase traffic in and the commercial viability of the Northern Sea Route.[4][5] One study, for instance, projects "remarkable shifts in trade flows between Asia and Europe, diversion of trade within Europe, heavy shipping traffic in the Arctic and a substantial drop in Suez traffic. Projected shifts in trade also imply substantial pressure on an already threatened Arctic ecosystem."[6]

History

Further information: Northeast Passage § History

The route was first conquered by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld's Vega expedition with a single wintering in 1878-79.

The Northern Sea Route is one of several Arctic shipping routes. Since the mid-1930s the Northern Sea Route has been an officially managed and administered shipping route along the northern/Arctic coast of Russia. The administrative entity was sequentially updated, upgraded, and renamed. Its current incarnation was the Federal State Budgetary Institution's establishment of The Northern Sea Route Administration in 2013.[7]

In August 2017, the first ship traversed the Northern Sea Route without the use of icebreakers.[8] According to the New York Times, this forebodes more shipping through the Arctic, as the sea ice melts and makes shipping easier.[8] In 2018 Maersk Line sent the new "ice-class" container ship Venta Maersk through the route to gather data on operational feasibility, though they did not currently see it as commercially attractive.[9][10] Escort assistance was required for three days from the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy.[11][12]

The Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis projected in 2015 that the Northern Sea Route may be ice-free by 2030, earlier than the Northwest Passage or Transpolar Sea Route.[13] A 2016 report by the Copenhagen Business School found that large-scale trans-Arctic shipping may become economically viable by 2040.[8][14]

In 2018 the Russian government transferred the main responsibility for the Northern Sea Route to Rosatom which through its ROSATOMFLOT subsidiary manages the Russian nuclear powered icebreaker fleet based in Murmansk.[10][15]

Economic assessment

Researchers and economists usually compare the Northern Sea Route with the conventional Suez Canal Route. The first route is shorter, which allow to save on fuel, but it is connected with environmental risks and increased operating costs.[16] Some studies recommend the joint usage of the two routes where the Northern Sea Route is used in summer when it is almost ice-free, and the Suez Canal Route is sailed in the rest of the year.[17]

Economic effects

Number of complete through transits per flag state.[18]

Year Total Russia Singapore Finland Norway Germany Spain China Greece Hong Kong Sweden Netherlands Portugal Other
2007 2 2
2008 3 3
2009 5 5
2010 10 10
2011 41 26 4 2 2 1 1 5
2012 46 18 6 5 2 15
2013 71 46 2 2 2 1 18
2014 53 47 3 3
2015 18 10 2 1 1 4
2016 18 7 1 2 8
2017 27 9 2 3 2 1 10
2018 27 8 1 7 1 1 2 6
2019 37
2020 62

According to an April 2016 interview with Mikhail Skigin, Russia intends to greatly increase its oil exports to China with tankers loaded at the Baltic Sea ports of Vysotsk, Primorsk, Ust-Luga and St. Petersburg.[19][20][a] To avoid any transactions using the United States dollar or any reports filed with the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Center (FinCEN), Skigin maintains that Russia must trade directly with China, possibly using the Chinese Yuan as the currency, and must not trade through any other country, any non Russian port, such as Rotterdam, or non Russian companies.[20] In March 2018 to provide for currency exchanges in accordance with the wishes of the head of state, Vladimir Putin, the former founders of Wex, Alexander Vilinik and Alexey Bilyuchenko along with apparent support from Kirill Malofeev, who is the son of Konstantin Malofeev, and Anton Nemkin started in Vladivostok the Pacific Exchange VladEx LLC (Russian: ООО «Владэкс») and decreed that blockchain or cryptocurrency would be accepted.[35][36][37][38][b][c][d][e][f]

See also

Further reading

Notes

  1. ^ Mikhail Skigin (Russian: Михаил Скигин, b. 1980 Leningrad) is the eldest of Dmitry Skigin's five children. He lived in Germany beginning in 1990 when he was ten and attended the Chinese intelligence linked University of International Relations in Switzerland until his father Dmitry's untimely death by heart attack in the south of France in 2003 at which time he returned to St. Petersburg to take over most of his father's businesses and concerns. According to Robert Eringer, his father Dmitry Eduardovich Skigin (Russian: Дмитрий Эдуардович Скигин; born 3 February 1956 Lenningrad, died 2003 Nice), who was expelled from Monaco in 2000, was a business partner with Vladimir Putin and was suspected of money laundering through his oil company Sotrama on behalf of narcotics trade. Dmitry Skigin's brother Vladimir Eduardovich Skigin (Russian: Владимир Эдуардович Скигин) is also close to Putin. As of 2013, Sotrama was managed by the Italian born Michele Tecchia, who is close to a St. Petersburg oil terminal owner Sergei Vasiliev (Russian: Сергей Васильев), and the Ruggell, Liechtenstein, registered Caravel Establishment which Michele Tecchia established and based in Monaco. His grandfather Eduard was very close to Putin. Mikhail Skigin retains the same attorneys, Graham Smith and Marcus Hasler of Ruggell, Liechtenstein, that his father had retained.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]
  2. ^ Anton Nemkin (Russian: Антон Немкин, b. 1984 or 1985) was an FSB officer from 2006-2016. He and Eugene Zhulanova or Yevgeniya Zhulanova (Russian: Евгения Жуланова) own Serafim (Russian: «Серафим»), a messaging service. He is close to Konstantin Malofeev and Sergey Glazyev, an advisor to the President of the Russian Federation.[35][36]
  3. ^ Kirill Malofeev (Russian: Кирилл Малофеев, b. 1983 or 1984) is the son of Konstantin Malofeev, owner of the Marshall Capital fund and who purchased Wex.nz in July 2018 but placed Kirill Malofeev as holding a 99% stake in Wex.nz.[35][36][37][38]
  4. ^ Launched in the middle of September 2017, Wex.nz or World Exchange Services was owned by Dmitry Vasiliev (Russian: Дмитрий Васильев, b. 1986 or 1987, Minsk, Belarusian SSR). Vasiliev moved to China in 2012 and, later, traded on the behalf of Chinese investors through BTC-e becoming one of BTC-e's largest traders. Wex has a Singapore address in its incorporation documents. Wex succeeded the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e which was very popular in Russia. In April 2018, he agreed to sell Wex.nz to Dmitry Khavchenko.[35][36][38]
  5. ^ According to the FBI, BTC-e was an illegal exchange established in 2011 by Moscow's Skolkovo alum Alexander Vinnik (Russian: Александр Винник, b. 1978 or 1979) and Aleksey Bilyuchenko (Russian: Алексей Билюченко, b. 1979 or 1980) of Novosibirsk using servers in the United States but was shut down in July 2017 by United States authorities. When the BTC-e crashed, it had stored 65 thousand bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies on it worth over a $1 billion. Bilyuchenko had been the technical expert for the BTC-e exchange and again was the technical expert for the Wex exchange. Golden Wallets (Russian: Золотой Кошельки) or encrypted flash drives contained cryptocurrency from the Wex exchange worth an equivalent to $450 million were in Bilyuchenko's possession, but Anton Nemkin was aware of this and, on 25–28 April 2018, obtained Bilyuchenko's Golden Wallets at Konstantin Malofeev's Moscow office on Novinsky Passage along the Garden Ring for supposedly FSB's accounts. Both Vinnik and Bilyuchenko have charges filed against them in France, the United States, and Russia. Vinnik was arrested at Halkidiki, Crete in Greece, under articles of "fraud" on 25 July 2017. Vinnik's attorney Timofey Musatov is close to both Igor Ashmanov, Russia's Microsoft man and co founder of the Internet Research Agency, and Ashmanov's wife Natalya Kasperskaya, an owner of Kaspersky. Apparently, Bilyuchenko remains in Russia.[35][36][38]
  6. ^ Dmitry Khavchenko (Russian: Дмитрий Хавченко, b. 1955 or 1956, Crimea, Ukrainian SSR) is from Kiev and is very pro-Kremlin with the codename Sailor (Russian: Морячок). During the 1990s and early 2000s, he was the head of Itera's debt department and was involved in the supply of natural gas from Russia to Ukraine. He fought with the Crimean Militia during the Crimean crisis and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. He is very close to Alexander Borodai and Konstantin Malofeev. He is the head of the Union of Volunteers of Donbass. In April 2018, he planned to move Wex.nz to Crimea once he took control of it. In November 2018, his daughter Daria Khavchenko (Russian: Дарья Хавченко) was the owner of Wex.nz when it collapsed.[35][36][38]

References

  1. ^ a b Brigham, L.; McCalla, R.; Cunningham, E.; Barr, W.; VanderZwaag, D.; Chircop, A.; Santos-Pedro, V.M.; MacDonald, R.; Harder, S.; Ellis, B.; Snyder, J.; Huntington, H.; Skjoldal, H.; Gold, M.; Williams, M.; Wojhan, T.; Williams, M.; Falkingham, J. (2009). Brigham, Lawson; Santos-Pedro, V.M.; Juurmaa, K. (eds.). Arctic marine shipping assessment (AMSA) (PDF). Norway: Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), Arctic Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Østreng, Willy; Eger, Karl Magnus; Fløistad, Brit; Jørgensen-Dahl, Arnfinn; Lothe, Lars; Mejlænder-Larsen, Morten; Wergeland, Tor (2013). Shipping in Arctic Waters: A Comparison of the Northeast, Northwest and Trans Polar Passages. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16790-4. ISBN 978-3642167898. S2CID 41481012.
  3. ^ Buixadé Farré, Albert; Stephenson, Scott R.; Chen, Linling; Czub, Michael; Dai, Ying; Demchev, Denis; Efimov, Yaroslav; Graczyk, Piotr; Grythe, Henrik; Keil, Kathrin; Kivekäs, Niku; Kumar, Naresh; Liu, Nengye; Matelenok, Igor; Myksvoll, Mari; O'Leary, Derek; Olsen, Julia; Pavithran .A.P., Sachin; Petersen, Edward; Raspotnik, Andreas; Ryzhov, Ivan; Solski, Jan; Suo, Lingling; Troein, Caroline; Valeeva, Vilena; van Rijckevorsel, Jaap; Wighting, Jonathan (October 16, 2014). "Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage: Routes, resources, governance, technology, and infrastructure". Polar Geography. 37 (4): 298–324. doi:10.1080/1088937X.2014.965769.
  4. ^ Fountain, Henry (2017-07-23). "With More Ships in the Arctic, Fears of Disaster Rise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  5. ^ McGrath, Matt (2017-08-24). "First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  6. ^ Bekkers, Eddy; Francois, Joseph F.; Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo (2016-12-01). "Melting Ice Caps and the Economic Impact of Opening the Northern Sea Route" (PDF). The Economic Journal. 128 (610): 1095–1127. doi:10.1111/ecoj.12460. ISSN 1468-0297. S2CID 55162828.
  7. ^ "Object of activity and functions of NSRA". Northern Sea Route Administration.
  8. ^ a b c Goldman, Russell (2017-08-25). "Russian Tanker Completes Arctic Passage Without Aid of Icebreakers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  9. ^ "Container ship to break the ice on Russian Arctic route". BBC News. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Henderson, Isaiah (July 18, 2019). "Cold Ambition: The New Geopolitical Faultline". The California Review. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Embury-Dennis, Tom (2017-09-18). "Container ship crosses Arctic route for first time in history due to melting sea ice". The Independent. ISSN 0951-9467. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  12. ^ Humpert, Malte (2017-09-14). "Maersk Container Ship Transits Arctic Ocean With Icebreaker Escort". High North News. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  13. ^ Dams, Ties; van Schaik, Louise; Stoetman, Adája (2020). Presence before power: why China became a near-Arctic state (Report). Clingendael Institute. pp. 6–19. JSTOR resrep24677.5.
  14. ^ Arctic shipping - Commercial opportunities and challenges (PDF). Copenhangen Business School Maritime. January 2016. ISBN 978-87-93262-03-4.
  15. ^ Nilsen, Thomas (2018-07-18). "Vyacheslav Ruksha will lead the newly established Northern Sea Route Directorate". The Barents Observer.
  16. ^ THE NORTHERN SEA ROUTE COST CALCULATION [EN/RUS/CH], retrieved 2021-05-14
  17. ^ Sibul, Gleb; Jin, Jian Gang (May 2021). "Evaluating the feasibility of combined use of the Northern Sea Route and the Suez Canal Route considering ice parameters". Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. 147: 350–369. doi:10.1016/j.tra.2021.03.024. ISSN 0965-8564.
  18. ^ "NSR transit statistics". Centre for high north logistics. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  19. ^ a b Belton 2020, pp. 99–105, 522–3.
  20. ^ a b c Аликин, Александр (Alikin, Alexander) (17 April 2016). "Михаил Скигин: Для нефти $50 — потолок. Объемы перевалки российских нефтяных терминалов упадут в 2016 году на 50%. Производителям нефтепродуктов невыгодно их экспортировать из-за налогового маневра. Об этом «Фонтанке» в день встречи представителей нефтедобывающих стран в Катаре, где обсуждается заморозка объемов экспорта нефти, рассказал владелец Петербургского нефтяного терминала Михаил Скигин" [Mikhail Skigin: For oil, $ 50 is the ceiling. Transshipment volumes of Russian oil terminals will fall by 50% in 2016. It is not profitable for producers of petroleum products to export them because of the tax manoeuvre. Mikhail Skigin, the owner of the St. Petersburg oil terminal, spoke about this to Fontanka on the day of the meeting of representatives of oil-producing countries in Qatar, where the freezing of oil export volumes is being discussed.]. Fontaka (in Russian). Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  21. ^ Golden 2017.
  22. ^ "University of International Relations (国际关系学院) The Beijing-based University of International Relations (UIR) is designated very high risk for its affiliation with the MSS, China's civilian intelligence agency". China Defense University Tracker website. 27 November 2017. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Мосты и дети: На чьи деньги строятся платные дороги в Санкт-Петербурге. Проект по строительству платных переездов в Санкт-Петербурге, который оценивается в 8 млрд руб., реализует компания, о которой до мая 2017 года никто не слышал. РБК выяснил, кто является бенефициарами этого проекта" [Bridges and children: Whose money are used to build toll roads in St. Petersburg. The project for the construction of toll crossings in St. Petersburg, which is estimated at 8 billion roubles, is being implemented by a company that no one had heard of until May 2017. RBC found out who are the beneficiaries of this project]. RBC (in Russian). 18 July 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2020. http://www.compromat.ru/page_38181.htm Конопля и платные дороги: Наследие питерского нефтетрейдера из 90-х Дмитрия Скигина Hemp and toll roads: The legacy of the St. Petersburg oil trader from the 90s Dmitry Skigin
  24. ^ Самотаев, Виктор (Samotaev, Victor) (9 February 2009). "Утиные миллионы дядюшки Скруджа: Задолжал покойный Дмитрий Скигин многим, а оставил после себя сущие пустяки – всего 600 млн. долларов" [Uncle Scrooge's Duck Millions: The late Dmitry Skigin owed a lot of debt, and left behind mere trifles - only 600 million dollars]. Компромат.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  25. ^ Anin, Roman (9 April 2011). "Маленькая прачечная премьер-класса" [Small premier laundry room]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020. http://www.compromat.ru/page_30685.htm Бизнес Дмитрия Скигина, высланного из Монако представителя российского криминалитета, "связан с тамбовской преступной группировкой и с Путиным лично": Маленькая прачечная премьер-класса. Бывший директор разведки Монако обвиняет в отмывании денег российских бизнесменов, лидеров организованных преступных группировок, высокопоставленных чиновников и премьер-министра Владимира Путина The business of Dmitry Skigin, a representative of the Russian criminals expelled from Monaco, "is connected with the Tambov criminal group and with Putin personally": Small premier laundry. Former director of intelligence in Monaco accuses Russian businessmen, leaders of organized crime groups, senior officials and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of money laundering
  26. ^ Друзья — не разлей нефть: Как связаны знакомые премьера с теми, кто подозревался полицией Монако в отмывании денег? Продолжение расследования «Новой газеты»
  27. ^ Заводы, цистерны, офшоры, соседи: Что общего у пиратов, захвативших Arctic Sea, со знакомыми премьер-министра? И кто из топ-менеджеров российских госкомпаний работал на людей, за которыми следила полиция Монако?
  28. ^ брат Дмитрия Скигина Владимир Скигин
  29. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (16 December 2013). "Путин на "личной службе" у князя Альбера" [Putin on "personal service" with Prince Albert]. Радио Свобода (Radio Svoboda). Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  30. ^ Парфентьева, Ирина (Parfentieva, Irina); Дзядко, Тимофей (Dzyadko, Timofey); Пузырев, Денис (Puzyrev, Denis) (18 April 2018). "Михаил Скигин — РБК: «Путин появлялся в моей жизни только на экране». В 2003 году Дмитрий Скигин, знаковая фигура Санкт-Петербурга периода постперестройки, оставил наследство 23-летнему сыну. Спустя 15 лет Михаил Скигин рассказал РБК, как он распорядился полученным состоянием" [Mikhail Skigin - RBC: "Putin appeared in my life only on the screen": In 2003, Dmitry Skigin, an iconic figure of St. Petersburg during the post-perestroika period, left a legacy to his 23-year-old son. 15 years later, Mikhail Skigin told RBC how he disposed of the resulting state]. RBC (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020. http://www.compromat.ru/page_39038.htm "Отец отдал… "Совэкс Пулково", другие активы плюс еще много денег… Траберу": Старший сын Дмитрия Скигина Михаил — о том, как удалось сохранить контроль над Петербургским нефтяным терминало "Father gave ... Sovex Pulkovo, other assets, plus a lot of money ... Traber": Dmitry Skigin's eldest son Mikhail - on how he managed to maintain control over the St. Petersburg oil terminal
  31. ^ "Robert Eringer vs. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco" (PDF). Superior Court the State of California for County of Santa Barbara, ANACAPA Division. 5 October 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2020. For Russia interests and Monaco, see 8, 13, 14, 15, 19, 23, 28, 29, 39, 49, 52, 54, 68, 85, 86, 92, 94, 97, 109, 126, 127, 128, 129, 132, 133, and 136.
  32. ^ "Fiche Archive Sotrama, Dmitry Skigin" [Documents on Sotrama, Dmitry Skigin] (PDF). Principaute De Monaco, Departement De L'Interieur, Direction De La Surete Publique (in French). 4 November 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2020. Two sets of documents with the second set (Dmitry Skigin) dated 27 February 2007.
  33. ^ расследований, Отдел (2000). "Но Трабер закричал: "На абордаж!"" [But Traber shouted, "Board!"]. "Тайный советник" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 27 February 2001. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  34. ^ Шмелев, Константин (2000). "Баллада об "Антикваре"" [BALLAD ABOUT "ANTIQUE"]. "Тайный советник" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 6 March 2001. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  35. ^ a b c d e f Захаров, Андрей (Zakorov, Andrey) (15 November 2019). "Биткоины в "фонд ФСБ": как исчезли $450 млн с криптобиржи Wex" [Bitcoins in the "FSB fund": how $ 450 million disappeared from the Wex cryptoexchange]. BBC (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  36. ^ a b c d e f Котова, Юлия (Kotova, Yulia) (15 November 2019). "Сооснователь биржи BTC-e рассказал о переводе криптовалюты на $450 млн в "фонд ФСБ": Один из основателей криптобиржи BTC-e Алексей Билюченко дал показания о том, куда пропали биткоины и другие валюты на $450 млн с рухнувшей в конце прошлого года биржи Wex, узнала Русская служба Би-би-си. По ее данным, он заявил, что перевел криптовалюту по требованию некого "Антона", так как опасался за свою жизнь, а "Антон" пояснил ему, что криптовалюта пойдет в "фонд ФСБ России"" [The co-founder of the BTC-e exchange spoke about the transfer of a $ 450 million cryptocurrency to the "FSB fund": One of the founders of the BTC-e crypto exchange, Alexey Bilyuchenko, testified about where bitcoins and other currencies worth $450 million went from the Wex exchange that collapsed at the end of last year, the BBC Russian Service learned. According to her, he said that he transferred the cryptocurrency at the request of a certain "Anton", as he feared for his life, and "Anton" explained to him that the cryptocurrency would go to the "Fund of the FSB of Russia"]. Forbes (in Russian). Archived from the original on 15 November 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  37. ^ a b Юзбекова, Ирина (Yuzbekova, Irina) (19 June 2014). "Малофеев избавился от контента: Его бывший партнер Евгений Жуланов купил Nikita и Intech" [Malofeev got rid of content: His former partner Evgeny Zhulanov bought Nikita and Intech]. RBC (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  38. ^ a b c d e Захаров, Андрей (Zakharov, Andrey) (4 July 2018). "Биткоины для ДНР: ополченец Морячок покупает скандальную криптобиржу: Российскую биржу криптовалют Wex с суточным оборотом $20 млн — правопреемника закрытой ФБР биржи BTC-e — покупает близкий к экс-премьеру ДНР бывший ополченец с позывным Морячок. За сделкой может стоять Константин Малофеев" [Bitcoins for DNR: Militia Sailor buys scandalous crypto exchange: The Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex with a daily turnover of $ 20 million - the successor to the BTC-e exchange closed by the FBI - is being bought by a former rebel with the call sign Sailor, close to the former DPR prime minister. Konstantin Malofeev may be behind the deal]. RBC (in Russian). Retrieved 17 December 2020.