Medvedev signs off plans to develop Northern Sea Route

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last month signed off on plans to increase annual freight traffic through the  Northern Sea Route (NSR) to 80m tons  by 2030 – a 20% increase on current levels. “This is the shortest route connecting Europe with the Far East, from the Asian-Pacific region to the Western half of North America,” he wrote on the government website. Only 41 ships used the route last year compered to o the 49 that use the Suez Canal each day. Over time, Moscow hopes to positions the NSR as a viable alternative to the Middle Eastern alternative.