RUSSIALINK: “Northern Sea Route should operate according to special rules, based on Russia’s interests – presidential envoy” – Interfax

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) – In developing the Northern Sea Route (NSR), Russia must be guided foremost by its own national interests, the Russian president’s special representative for environmental protection and transport, Sergei Ivanov said in an interview with Interfax.

He recalled that nearly the whole NSR runs through Russian territorial waters or through the country’s economic zone, and said that Russia must insist on special rules for using this route.

“For example, if a foreign vessel requests passage through the NSR, then it should be the most modern ice-class, with five shell plates if you like! Then Russia introduces a rule: no five shell plates on the vessel, no passage through the NSR. And that’s it, period,” Ivanov said.

This is Russia’s right, he said. “And it should be all the same to us what other opinions other countries might have, with all due respect to freedoms and democracy. Because if an accident happens with this vessel, such as an oil spill, this spill will be here, not on the territory of other nations,” Ivanov said.

He also recalled insurance. “Now if you have multibillion insurance, and in the dollar equivalent not in rubles, then please. Use our icebreaker support and away. And the rates for support should also be approved by us not by, for example, the International Maritime Organization,” Ivanov said.

Russia needs “to proceed from national interests” in all respects, he added.