Russlands Nördlicher Seeweg: Nationale Exporttrasse statt internationaler Handelsroute ('Russia's Northern Sea Route: Shipping Russian hydrocarbons in the Arctic Ocean')

Osteuropa, No 5, 2020, pp. 61-79. In German.

Russia has been trying to create a regular shipping route in the Arctic Ocean for over a hundred years, in the hope that this will help open up the far north. During the Soviet era, the focus was on domestic shipping, until the project was abandoned due to the vast expense involved. It then was restarted in the mid-2000s, with the aim of expanding the Northern Sea Route to create a workable international trade route. However, maritime traffic has remained problematic, despite dramatic changes in the climate that have led the sea ice to melt during the summer months. Only a small section – the Kara Sea – in the west of the region has been successfully developed into an export route for natural gas and crude oil. This project has been characterised by competition between the state-owned company Rosatom and the state supervisory authorities over control of the essential fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers, as well as over investments in infrastructure; Rosatom has prevailed.



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