You shall not pass: Russia changes rules for foreign warships navigating through its Arctic | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


You shall not pass: Russia changes rules for foreign warships navigating through its Arctic

Russia is updating its navigation rules for a contingency involving another nation’s warships attempting to sail along the Northern Sea Route. Such a passage would require prior notification from the Defense Ministry.

The route, situated in the Arctic along Russia’s northern coast, is becoming more accessible to sea traffic as the climate warms. With longer navigation seasons and fewer ice hazards, Russia hopes the path will be increasingly in demand for international commercial transit. Such navigation however more often than not requires Russia’s cooperation, since an icebreaker usually is needed to pass through.

There is however a potential source of problems with Russia’s northern side becoming more accessible. Foreign military ships may travel it too, even those lacking ice protection, as was proven by the Loire-class offshore support and assistance ship of the French Navy Rhône in October. It took the ship 17 days to traverse the route and she didn’t ask for Russian icebreaker assistance for it.

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