Russia is taking advantage of the delinquent Suez Canal ship crisis to promote the Al-Qal Road


06:03 PM

Thursday, March 25, 2021

I wrote – Rana Osama:

Russia took advantage of the crisis of the giant container ship “Evergiven” delinquent to promote the Arctic route as an alternative to the Suez Canal. The Russian Nuclear Energy Corporation (Rosatom) called on the ships for Arctic behavior, saying, “You might be stuck in the Suez Canal for days.”

The Russian company wrote on its Twitter account, saying that the Northern Sea Route has “more space for giant ships.” It boasted of how it provided real-time data on weather, currents, ice movement, and other important information for navigating the North.

While sailing from China to European ports via the North Sea Route is 40% shorter compared to the behavior of the Suez Canal Corridor, traffic on the Arctic route does not compete with the Suez Canal or even sailing around Africa, according to “The Moscow Times”.

Attention began to turn towards the northern corridor due to the melting of parts of the ice in recent years, but interest in this trade corridor dates back to the sixteenth century.

Russias interest in the northern maritime transport corridor is due to its need for appropriate commercial corridors to transport its production of oil, gas and many other raw materials, the bulk of which is concentrated in Siberia and other regions on the edge of the Arctic, to foreign markets. Large Russian oil and gas companies, such as “Gazprom”, “Rosneft” and “Lukoil”, are major users of the Northern Sea Corridor.

On May 25, 2016, Russia announced that the first Russian oil tanker had been loaded into a new oil storage and shipping station in the “Yamal” region in the Arctic, and that station was called the “Arctic Gate”.

Russia hopes to stimulate international trade through the Northern Sea Route, and hopes that it will, with time, become a substitute or competitor to the currently available methods, such as the Suez Canal.

The position that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke openly about in 2019, when he said that the Northern Sea Route will become “the key to the development of the Russian Arctic regions and the Far East.” And he expressed his conviction that “if we make sure that this trade route is used throughout the year, the movement of goods from Asia to Europe and back will be more economically feasible than other methods available today.”

While experts doubt the ability of the northern corridor to compete with a corridor like the Suez Canal, for a number of reasons, foremost of which is the nature of the climate in the Arctic, as ships can only move there during a limited period of the year (3-4 months only), and other than that, commercial ships will need an escort. Icebreaker, which leads to a length of time during flight.

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