Russia has decided to block the Northern Sea Route to foreign warships in a further bid to control the Arctic. Military vessels will only be able to pass with permission from the Russian Federation said the head of the National Center for Defense Management of Russia, Mikhail Mizintsev, at a recent conference in Moscow for interdepartmental cooperation. The development was reported by Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.
According to him, in order to eliminate the legal vacuum regarding the use of the Northern Sea Route, an interdepartmental work was organized to improve Russian legislation. Its result will be the notification nature of navigation of foreign warships. The work will be completed by the beginning of the navigation in 2019, added Mizintsev, reported RIA.
The Kremlin has made a determined effort over the last decade to ensure its control over Arctic areas where it has made geographical claims. Russia is far ahead of Western militaries regarding the deployment of icebreakers and military force in the region.
The Northern Sea Route is the main Arctic shipping route of Russia, the shortest water route between the Far East and the European part of the country. The path connects the ports of the Arctic and the major rivers of the Northern region. At the end of 2017, the volume of cargo transportation along the Northern Sea Route amounted to 10.7 million tons, wrote RIA.
As the world moves closer to possible near peer, conventional conflict, the Arctic will for sure play a definitive role in any future adversarial situation.