MOSCOW: According to a story published on Wednesday by the Russian Interfax news agency, Russia and India are considering increasing the use of the Arctic-passing Northern Sea shipping route.
The “reliable and safe” shipping of products via the Northern Sea Route via Russian and Indian ports was a major topic in talks with Indian officials when Russia’s minister for the development of the Far East and the Arctic, Alexei Chekunkov, was in India, according to Interfax.
The news agency quoted a Chekunkov statement as adding that “it was specifically highlighted that the cost of transporting a container from Vladivostok to India is a third lower than the cost of shipping a container from Moscow.”
India overtook China as the biggest consumer of Russian oil in 2017, despite not overtly denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has made significant infrastructure investments in the Northern Sea Route, which runs along its northern coastline and provides the shortest maritime route between East Asia and Europe.
The existing thick ice prevents use during the winter. Yet Moscow intends to start year-round shipping by the end of this year, encouraged by the warming of the Artic.