Skip to main content

Russia eyes new Arctic shipping route for trade with China









BY SERGEI BLAGOV 




in ASIA TIMES 


NEWS & FEATURES, CHINA












MOSCOW–The Arctic’s fast disappearing ice due to global warming may soon make it possible for cargo ships sailing from Far-East to Europe to take the shortest route through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) during summer.






Yong Sheng was the first Chinese vessel to pass through the NSR in the east Arctic






China knew the significance of this and even sent a ship sailing on a historic journey along the route.




Now the Russian authorities want China to develop the maritime trade in the East Arctic even as Moscow’s earlier plans to create new Eurasian transit corridors remain stalled.




Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin indicated plans to invite China to take part in joint development of NSR which is running along the Arctic coast within Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.




In recent decades, the Arctic summer ice cover has dropped by nearly half against a backdrop of global warming. The route is expected to be free of ice in summer in about two decades. But while the summer ice cover of the route is decreasing, the safety of shipping remains threatened by icebergs.




Beijing has already indicated interest in the NSR. In September 2013, Young Sheng, the ship owned by COSCO Shipping, became the first Chinese vessel ever to pass through the NSR in the east Arctic.




It took Young Sheng 35 days to sail from Dalian to Rotterdam, while the route through the Suez Canal is about two weeks longer. Yong Sheng’s voyage, supported by Chinese authorities, came as the first move by the world’s top exporter to use the NSR to funnel exports to the European Union.



Russia’s interest to develop NSR is also caused by geopolitical considerations. On February 26, Rogozin made it clear that the NSR became even more important for Russia amid deteriorating relations with Turkey and possible problems with Black Sea-Mediterranean shipping routes.




Although Russia voiced preference of new trade routes to develop business ties with China, bilateral commerce was going down. In 2015, Russia’s trade with China dropped to $63.5 billion, or 28% down year-on-year, mainly due to adverse market conditions and declining energy prices.




In 2011, Moscow had pledged to increase the bilateral trade turnover up to $100 billion/year in 2015 and $200 billion/year in 2020. However, these pledges appeared to be detached from the current economic realities.



While the Russian government suggested China to develop the new trade route in the East Arctic, Moscow’s earlier plans to create new Eurasian transit corridors remained slow to materialize.




In February 2016, the authorities of Kazakhstan voiced concerns that Russia remained slow to develop its section of the Western Europe-Western China road system.






The Western Europe-Western China International Transit Corridor is due to connect China and Russia’s Baltic port St. Petersburg. The route is 8,445 kilometers. The Kazakh government aims to complete all its 2,787-kilometer section of the corridor by the end of 2016.




Although Kazakhstan and China move towards the completion of the project, the Russian authorities have remained slow to develop their 2,233-kilometer section of the new road system. Russia aims to finish the project by 2019-2020.





Furthermore, the existing Eurasian transit corridors became adversely affected by geopolitical complications. In January 2016, Ukraine’s exports to China and Central Asia were down by 60-80% year-on-year, mainly due to Moscow’s restrictions on Ukrainian transit through the Russian territory.





Not surprisingly, there were attempts to bypass Russia and create new Eurasian transit corridors. Last month, Ukraine dispatched a first test train from its Odessa region across Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan to China.




In the meantime, Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway also remained slow to become a major Eurasian transit route. In 2015, the railway’s overall volumes of transit freight were down, although China’s transit increased.



Therefore, Moscow’s pledges to develop new Eurasian transit corridors seemed to be declarations of intent, largely lacking economic substance. It remains to be seen whether Russia’s economic ‘Ostpolitik’ could entail actual re-orientation towards East Asia.




Sergei Blagov is a Moscow-based independent journalist and researcher. In the past three decades, he has been covering Asian affairs from Moscow, Russia, as well as Hanoi, Vietnam and Vientiane, Laos. He is the author of non-fiction books on Vietnam, and a contributor of a handbook for reporters.

(Copyright 2016 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)




http://atimes.com/2016/03/russia-eyes-new-arctic-route-for-trade-with-china-2/

Popular posts from this blog

THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER MANGOES IN THE WORLD ....

While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???





In alphabetical order by Country....










India




Alphonso





Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia








Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 


It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST






Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.



However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.




Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.



Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

MEET MELANIA TRUMP: The 5'11" supermodel married to Donald Trump

Aly Weisman, INSIDER

Sep. 2, 2015, 3:28 PM 











Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images







While Donald Trump loves to be the center of media attention, his third and current wife, Melania Trump, is a bit more camera shy.










The Slovenian-born model keeps a lower profile than her husband, doing philanthropy work, raising their son, working on a jewelry collection with QVC, and creating a $150-an-ounce caviar moisturizer.




With Trump on the campaign trail, Melania has stoically stood by his side.




But who exactly is Melania and where did she come from? Learn about Trump's other half here ...





Melania Knauss was born April 26, 1970, in Slovenia.




Wikimedia/Getty







The 5'11" brunette began her modeling career at 16, and signed with a modeling agency in Milan at 18.



Chris Hondros/Newsmakers via Getty









She took a break from modeling to get her degree in design and architecture at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.








Wikimedia/Getty

Source: MelaniaTrump.com









But after graduating, her modeling career took off and Me…