Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Russia wants nations to take up its offer to smash channels through the Arctic with its nuclear icebreaker fleet, to reduce global shipping dependency on the Suez Canal.
Russia Suggests World Adopt Arctic Trade Route as Alternative to Suez Canal
GABRIELLE REYES 26 Mar 2021
Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation suggested freight shippers should consider the Northern Sea Route as an “alternative” to Egypt’s Suez Canal on Thursday after a container ship blocked the canal and halted billions of dollars worth of trade this week.
The Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged MV Ever Given container ship became lodged in the Suez Canal on March 23 during a sandstorm. The vessel remained stuck in the canal as of March 26, despite attempts to dislodge the ship by a Dutch salvage firm. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. More than ten percent of global maritime trade passes through the narrow waterway.
“If you get icebound, we have icebreakers, well to break the ice,” Rosatom, which operates Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker program, wrote as its second reason.
…Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/03/26/russia-suggests-world-adopt-arctic-trade-route-as-alternative-to-suez-canal/
Tweet from the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom;
I suspect few shippers will accept Russia’s offer, at least in the near term. Even with the assistance of Russian icebreakers, ships would still have to be ice hardened to safely make the passage.