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Northern Sea Route
Shipping route running along the Russian Arctic coast
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.
Melting Arctic ice caps are likely to increase traffic in and the commercial viability of the Northern Sea Route. 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."
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 establishment of the Russian Federal State Institution (FGUP) "The Northern Sea Route Administration" in 2013 "to organize navigation in the water area of the Northern sea route by issuing navigation permissions and contributing to support activities."
In August 2017, the first ship traversed the Northern Sea Route without the use of icebreakers. According to the New York Times, this forebodes more shipping through the Arctic, as the sea ice melts and makes shipping easier. 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. Escort assistance was required for three days from the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker50 Let Pobedy.
In 2018 the 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.
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. ISBN978-3642167898.
^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. ISBN978-3642167898.