RUSSIALINK: “Putin invites foreign partners to develop Northern Sea Route” – Interfax

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VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 12 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited foreign partners to develop the Northern Sea Route.

“We are inviting all interested partners to develop this promising route, and we know that our partners are interested in doing so,” Putin said at a plenary meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The logistic potential of the Russian Far East should be used to the fullest extent, Putin said.

“The massive modernization of the trans-Siberian railroad, and the development of Far Eastern seaports and the Northern Sea Route will bolster transport connection between the Asia Pacific region and Europe,” he said.

Putin called for modernizing border checkpoints in the Far East and making border control, customs, and other services more convenient for travelers and business.

“Container transit by rail should grow four times within the next six years, and the travel time from the Far East to the western border of Russia should be cut to seven days. The cargo traffic on the Northern Sea Route should grow to 80 million per year. Please note that feasibility of these plans has been verified,” Putin said.

Business has an obvious interest in such infrastructure, he said.

The first Arctic-4 ice-class container vessel is traveling along the Northern Sea Route, which is the shortest distance between the Far East and Europe, on these days, Putin said.

The route “that goes from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg with stopovers in the Korean port of Busan and the German port of Bremerhaven actually opens a new page in the merchant marine history and proves the safety, effectiveness, and demand for the Russian Arctic and the entire Northern Sea Route as an international corridor,” Putin said.