The United States intends to deprive Russia of its right to the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which lies in Arctic waters and within Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
That’s according to media reports, saying Washington believes that the NSR should be open to the entire world community, and not only to Russia.
“The current US political elite has “suddenly” forgotten Article 234 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which guarantees Russia the right to the North Sea (because it is in the inland waters of this country), and which also recognizes Canada’s right to passage northwest of this sea route,”’wrote Pecat magazine’s journalist Zoran Milosevic.
He added that “Americans began to present this fact as a Russian “claim” to something that does not belong to the country and their strategy as “ensuring free navigation in the disputed areas of the sea.”’
US President Donald Trump said earlier Washington wants to buy the Greenland. According to US Navy spokesman Richard Spencer, “the current task of the US Navy is to increase power in the Arctic to open new strategic military ports in the Bering Sea region and to expand its military presence in Alaska.”
In May, Washington made it clear to Canada that it “should forget about its right to the northwest Arctic corridor.” It has also demanded from China to close its Arctic research stations in Norway and Iceland and to stop investing in the NSR infrastructure.
According to Milosevic, “the Northern Sea Route is important for the United States as a means of pressure on Russia, since it is not only an international logistics corridor, but also an internal transport artery.”
The Northern Sea Route, which stretches the entire length of Russia’s Arctic and Far East regions, is expected to become a major trade route for goods shipped between Europe and Asia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the route would become “the key to the development of the Russian Arctic regions of the Far East.” According to Putin, the goal is to make it a “truly global, competitive transport artery” and to significantly increase its cargo traffic up to 80 million tons a year. Ships will mainly transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil, and coal.
The Arctic route from Southeast Asia to Europe cuts transportation time in half compared to traditional routes through the Suez and Panama canals. In Soviet times, it was used mainly to supply goods to isolated settlements in the Arctic.
In 1991, the Northern Sea Route was open to international shipping, though in official Russian documents it was defined as a “historically established national transport communication.”
Last year, Putin said that ships under the Russian flag could receive exclusive rights to transport oil and gas along the route – a measure proposed to boost the shipbuilding industry.
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