By Remon Buul
India and Russia are discussing the possibility of launching a transaction container shipping line and processing facilities along the Northern Sea Route (NSR), said Aleksey Chekunkov, Russia’s Far East Development Minister East and Arctic.
The Arctic route, linking Southeast Asia to Europe, will drastically reduce transport times compared to traditional routes through the Suez or Panama Canal.
In Soviet times, it was mainly used to supply goods to isolated colonies in the Arctic.
During Chekunkov’s visit, the issue was discussed during the meeting with India’s Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to use the “North Sea Route” for reliable and efficient cargo transport.
“In India, we have seen a sincere and genuine interest in Russia, which is based on the long history of friendship between our countries,” the press service quoted Minister Alexey Chekunov as saying.
“We are ready to continue the dialogue with the Indian side, where the main objective is to launch discussed projects.”
“Another round of talks will be held in Moscow in April on the platform of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation,” he added.
“Ministers discussed an alternative route to transport cargo from India to Europe – not through the southern or western routes, but through the eastern route and the NSR, using both Russian and Indian port facilities….”
“The cost to ship a container from Vladivostok to India is 30% lower than from Moscow,” the Russian ministry said.
India has reportedly expressed interest in building a satellite city near Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, including ports, roads, and energy infrastructure.
Chekunkov revealed that the next round of talks would take place in Moscow in April.
Had a good meeting with a Russian delegation led by HE Alexei Chekunkov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic. pic.twitter.com/RayaA6vFB5
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) March 28, 2023
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that New Delhi planned to help develop the NSR and turn it into a global trade route.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also called the proposed route a “key to the development of Russia’s Arctic regions in the Far East”, and the goal is to make it a “truly global and competitive artery of transport”.
The Northern Sea Route, which runs the length of Russia’s Arctic and Far Eastern regions, is expected to become a significant trade route for goods shipped between Europe and Asia.
This post was published first here.