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Introduction to INSROP

INSROP (International Northern Sea Route Programme) has been a six-year (June 1993 - March 1999) international research programme designed to create an extensive knowledge base about the ice-infested shipping lanes running along the coast of the Russian Arctic from Novaya Zemlya in the west to the Bering Strait in the east. This route was previously named the Northeast Passage, but is now known as the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

The NSR represents an up to 40% saving of distance from Northern Europe to Northeast Asia and the north-west coast of North America compared to southerly sea routes via Suez or Panama. The NSR may also prove instrumental in connecting the Russian Arctic with the rest of the world.

The NSR was officially opened by the government of the Soviet Union to international shipping on 1 July 1991, but has so far not been utilised commercially to a significant degree by non-Russian vessels.

The most obvious obstacles to commercially viable shipping in the NSR are the harsh natural conditions, including ice most of the year. Even though modern technology can overcome such practical difficulties, the investments needed to build a fleet of adequate ice-classified cargo vessels are staggering. An equally big problem, is for Russia to muster the political and economic strength needed to maintain a stable, well-functioning infrastructure along the NSR.

Information about INSROP

What is INSROP?

INSROP sub-programmes

INSROP organization

INSROP publications

Publication and Reviewer policy

INSROP publications

INSROP Institutions and personnel

Sponsors for INSROP

Institutions involved in INSROP work

Persons involved in INSROP

Meetings and other INSROP events

Meetings in the INSROP Steering Committee of Sponsors (SCS)

Meetings in the INSROP Joint Research Committee (JRC)

Other important INSROP Events