Putin: Only Russian vessels will be allowed in the Northern Sea Route


November 16 , 2017 – Fort Russ News – 
Vesti– translated by Inessa Sinchougova

The right to transport oil and gas along the Northern Sea Route will only be available to vessels under the Russian flag. Such a proposal was formulated today by Vladimir Putin. This is just one of the measures that will help to load domestic shipyards with orders, first of all – the Zvezda complex in Primorye. Other measures to help the shipbuilding industry were today discussed in the Kremlin. 

Zvezda is the first Russian shipyard of large-capacity shipbuilding, where it will produce everything from giant tankers and gas carriers to drilling platforms. It should also become one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world.

But it is not enough to just build a factory, Putin says. The main thing is to provide it with stable orders.

“I know that the prospective orders for Zvezda have been approved to 2035. We were talking about this at the enterprise itself when I was there last time, and this plan must certainly be carried out, not only by Rosneft, but also by all the others. It’s not only Rosneft’s task, it’s the task of the entire Russian shipbuilding industry. This is a general national task – the development of production facilities and the creation of modern jobs in the Far East. So I ask you not to take this as a departmental or a sectoral issue – it is our shared responsibility ” – Putin said to a room full of industry representatives.

In September 2017, in the presence of the president, four supply vessels of the ice class were launched here at once.

“Ekaterina the Great, St. Maria, Vladimir Monomakh and Alexander Nevsky will be launched into the water in 2019. The entire portfolio of orders from Rosneft is so far 24 delivered vessels, including five Aframax type tankers – eco-friendly, on gas fuel. Another 15 tankers of the Arctic class – ordered by Novatek. But in order to  bring the Zvezda to world leadership, in 17 years, – many more need to be built.

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The orders plan for the shipyard is to be completed by 2035, which is 178 ships of various types. For Rosneft this is about 56 vessels, and 32 ships for Gazprom. 

“I want to remind you of the mutual responsibility of shipbuilders and customers. Our customers placing orders should be confident in the precise execution of the contract, be aware that they will receive products of appropriate quality at an economically reasonable price and in a timely manner. On this account the owners of the shipyard must give distinct financial guarantees” , – the president of Russia warned .

It is known that the capacities of Zvezda are being watched in both South Korea and China. The shipbuilding complex should be working to its full capacity by 2024. 

The president has repeatedly made it clear that the construction of Russia’s largest shipyard in the Far East, he keeps under personal surveillance. But today’s meeting in the Kremlin should give a new impetus to the development of the entire Russian shipbuilding industry.

Shipyards in Kaliningrad, Murmansk and St. Petersburg are also being loaded with orders. The world’s largest nuclear icebreaker, “Siberia”, was recently launched by the “Baltic Plant.”

In plans are three more of a similar type of vessel. Shipbuilders are developing designs for the icebreaker, which will be twice as powerful as Siberia.

The “Leader” is a real arctic SUV, and it will be quite possible to assemble it at the new Zvezda, where the documents for obtaining a license for nuclear shipbuilding are being prepared, especially since Russia plans to make the Northern Sea Route an all-season transportation route.

Vessels that travel there under the Russian flag, Putin today promised to grant the exclusive right to transportation, and ability to store hydrocarbons. Everything to strengthen the position of Russian shipping companies.

Inessa Sinchougova is an Editor and Journalist at Fort Russ News, as well as a research fellow and translator of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. She was educated at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), in the field of Political Science and was previously employed in Marketing and Communications Strategy for a Multi-National Corporation. She runs a popular YouTube channel for translations of key Russian Foreign Policy figures and appears regularly on other alternative media channels.  

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