OREANDA-NEWSMoscow, while remaining open for dialogue with all international partners on the Northern Sea Route (NSR), does not plan to use the route in conjunction with Norway, since the route is the national transport artery of Russia. This was reported on Monday by the Russian newspaper with reference to the Russian embassy in Oslo.

"Norway, as far as one can judge, is eyeing the opportunities that will gradually open up as the highway is developed, but at the same time remains an outside observer", said Vladimir Isupov, senior adviser to the embassy. The embassy also noted that shipping issues on Svalbard remain outside the Northern Sea Route, because at the moment the NSR runs exclusively in Russian territorial waters, confining itself to the west of Arkhangelsk and to the east of Chukotka.

The publication also cites the position of Norway, which expresses doubts about the economic feasibility of the NSR and plans to conduct an audit of its compliance with environmental standards. This, in particular, was reported by the head of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Ine Marie Erickson Sereide.

“So far, the route operates within the framework of existing agreements. But it should be checked for compliance with environmental standards that are put forward for ship routes in the Arctic. As far as I can see, the NSR has serious problems regarding everything: from search and rescue operations and insufficient infrastructure throughout routes to an extremely harsh climate. This greatly complicates the task of making the route profitable and commercially successful, as many would like, "the minister emphasized.

Sereide also noted that Norway didn't consider the possibility of providing Svalbard ports for use within the NSR. "Svalbard is part of Norwegian territory. The island isn't the subject of discussion under this project. We have to explore this possibility yet, given the sovereignty of Norway over the island, as well as the impact of the Northern Sea Route on the environment and environmental compliance", she explained.