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PORT SABETTA, Russia: April 14, 2016. GAC Russia has partnered with Russia’s Far East Development Fund (FEDF), set up by president Vladimir Putin and prime minster Dmitry Medvedev, to address challenges faced by ship owners transiting the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

NSR mapGAC and FEDF have launched a survey https://www.research.net/r/northernsearoute to gather data on NSR navigation experiences and then explore a range of options to make the route more competitive and attract more traffic.

Commenting on the NSR, Putin said: “It is difficult to underestimate the significance of the most northern transport route in terms of geopolitics and geostrategy: it’s the framework of the whole infrastructure of the Russian arctic zone. The development and exploration of the Arctic is one of the priorities of the national strategy.”

The FEDF is a Russian Federation development institution that invests in infrastructure for a “significant social and financial impact on the economic development of the region”. Based in Moscow, it works in cooperation with the Ministry of Far East Development and its principal stakeholder, the former Soviet-era Vnesheconombank.

Denis Askinadze, FEDF managing director, explained the new tie-up: “It would be hard to overstate the significance of the NSR for Russia’s economy. It has been an important transport corridor contributing to the economic growth both of the Arctic regions and of Russia as a whole. Pursuing the goal of practical development of the NSR and drawing on the GAC Russia team’s extensive local knowledge of the Arctic region and global shipping and logistics expertise, we believe that this partnership will address the challenges and help to form a hands-on solution for all users of the NSR.”

Since 2010 the amount of cargo shipped via the NSR has risen from 110 tons to four million tons with the amount of transit permits rising to a current figure of 600 per annum. FEDR expects traffic to increase to 80 million tons by 2020.

GAC Russia’s managing director Arkady Podkopaev added: “We firmly believe we’re on course to make the NSR more attractive to shipping companies and encourage them to take advantage of the shorter distance and time benefits on offer. Our aim is to bring about fast and positive change by July 01 2016 when summer navigation commences, and all those who take part in the survey will in turn benefit from the expected mitigation of economical, technical and organizational challenges highlighted leading to optimum support during their NSR navigations.”

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