Between Economic Nationalism and Globalism: Evaluating Russia’s Recent Regulations on Arctic Shipping

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
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This study examines how recent changes in Russia’s legal regulations affected shipping via the Northern Sea Route. The paper discusses whether these regulations are helpful for making the NSR a popular international transport corridor or, on the contrary, may lead to its isolation and retaining its status of Russia’s national seaway? This study also reviews Russian legal and practical measures to implement the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code. The author concludes that despite some legal inconsistencies, the lack of a proper infrastructure and residual environmental problems, the NSR will remain an important priority for the Russian future strategy in the Arctic region. The NSR is viewed by Moscow as an effective instrument to develop the Russian Arctic both domestically and internationally. However, Moscow still faces a dilemma: On the one hand, it wants to keep its control over the NSR and support Russian shipbuilding industry and shipping companies. On the other hand, the Kremlin is willing to open up this passage for international cooperation and integrate it to the global transportation system.

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