Russia’s policy to develop trans-arctic shipping along the Northern sea route
This article explores changing transport-logistic capabilities of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and Russia’s policy to further develop them. The authors begin with a study of latest changes in the NSR management system in Russia, and characterise a series of systemic measures undertaken by Moscow over the last decade to improve the transport potential of the NSR. They also assess Russia’s key actors, their economic interests and projects in the Arctic, emphasising that large scale energy and infrastructure development projects have become catalysts to accelerate development of the NSR. However, the main research issue of this paper is to determine the most optimal conditions for the NSR utilisation that could ensure time and cost savings for shipping carriers. According to the authors, the key obstacle to successful development of trans-Arctic shipping is the lack of an economically effective model to organise it along the NSR. In this regard, the main research thesis that the authors are trying to prove is that the application of the concept of shuttle transportation between two large logistic hubs, built on the basis of the ports of Murmansk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky will create optimal conditions for trans-Arctic shipping along the NSR. Another research issue for this paper is to assess the prospects of the NSR as an international transport line. For this purpose, recent trends in Arctic shipping and the prospective for international cooperation in the implementation of major LNG extraction and transport-logistic projects in the Arctic have been analysed.