Belt & Road and the Northern Sea Route

Northeastern Sea Route

China has made headlines with its ambitious attempt at rebuilding the Silk Road.

An important factor in the success of this plan is access to the Northern Sea Route.

While the Northern Sea Route is accessible during certain times of the year, about a decade or more is left before the rapidly increasing temperatures in the Arctic allow for year-round access.

In the meantime, one factor is an absolute necessity.

Icebreakers.

One of the first cruise ships to travel through the Arctic in over decade, Crystal Serenity, is taking advantage of this new access.

It’s endeavor is only possible with the help of a leading icebreaker.

There’s only one issue China has to face in its efforts to include the Northern Sea Route into its Belt & Road Summit.

It only has one.

It won’t have a second until 2019.

One or two icebreakers won’t cut it when it comes to international trade through the Arctic.

Who has them all?

Russia.

Russia has the largest fleet of icebreakers in the world and the international community knows it.

This, along with its extensive continental shelf, gives Russia a significant leverage in negotiations during the summit.

If the Belt & Road concept succeeds, will it be the turning point in Russia’s economy?

What does it mean for Europe and its allies like the United States?

It’s time to put Russia back on the map, emphasizing their importance in economic discourse.

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