Advancement of Northern Sea Route can change correlation of forces in freight transit to Europe

Russia should be developing new transport corridors in addition to upgrading existing ones to deepen integration in APEC economies.

"The Tran-Siberian Railway, BAM and Russian seaports on the Pacific coast require modernization. It is necessary to develop new transport routes both on the mainland and in the seas washing Russia," deputy director of the Russian Center for APEC Studies, ambassador Gleb Ivashentsov told the press.

"If [Russia] does not come up with an initiative, other economies will turn up that will put the initiative forward. They will be seeking transport routes from the Pacific zone to Europe circumventing Russia which naturally damages our interests," he said.

Ivashentsov said that the bulk of cargos from Asia to Europe currently follows two key sea routes: via the Suez and Panama canals which are already overloaded.

"New routes should be drawn. And the Northern Sea Route can become one of them," he said.

"This is a very promising task the implementation of which will globally change the correlation of forces in the transportation of cargoes from Asia by sea. In addition, it will give an impetus to the development of promising regions in the Russian Arctic," he added.

Ivashentsov said that the intensive use of the Northern Sea Route will promote the expansion of Russian's projects of developing reserves of hydrocarbons in the Arctic.

"The Asia-Pacific region will be the main consumer of these hydrocarbons and the Northern Sea Route will have to be used for delivering them," the diplomat said.

He also said that individual groups at the APEC summit are seriously discussing the development of transport and logistical chains involving Russian territories.

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