NSR - General Area Description

The water area of the Northern Sea Route shall be considered as the water area adjacent to the Northern coast of the Russian Federation, comprising the internal sea waters, the territorial sea, the adjacent zone and the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation and confined in the East with the Line of Maritime Demarcation with the United States of America and Cape Dezhnev parallel in Bering Strait, with the meridian of Cape Mys Zhelania to the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in the West, with the eastern coastline of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and the western borders of Matochkin Strait, Kara Strait and Yugorski Shar.

Navigation in the water area of the Northern Sea Route, the historically emerged national transportation route of the Russian Federation, shall be performed according to the commonly accepted principles and norms of the international law, international agreements of the Russian Federation, NSR Russian Federal Law, other Federal Laws and other regulatory legal documents.

Historically, brisk growth of shipping on the NSR seaways was, first of all, connected with the commercial exploration of the High North regions. Icebreaker fleet and special-purpose transport vessels successfully carried out and continue to perform assignments to transport natural resources and to deliver equipment and commodities to the areas of hard access.

At present the main forecasts of growth in the scopes of transportations in the Arctic are also related to the exploration of new fields and exportation of raw materials from the Arctic shelf.

Also the NSR presents opportunities for international shipping as a transit route between Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The unique geographical position of the NSR allows significant reduction of the shipping route under the transcontinental transportations.

The seaway of Northern Sea Route (NSR) is running through Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi seas. The NSR can be entered from west through the Straits Yugorskiy Shar and Karskiye Vorota, or by passing North of Ostrova Novaya Zemlya around Mys Zhelaniya, and from East through the Bering Strait.

The NSR extends for about 3000 miles. The factual length of the route in each particular case depends on ice conditions and on the choice of particular variants of passage of different stretches of the route.

The main factor influencing navigation through the NSR is presence of ice. Annual and seasonal variability of ice conditions is typical for all areas of the NSR. Navigation season for transit passages starts approximately at the beginning of July and lasts through to the second half of November.

CHNL IO: CHNL Information Office

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