Sanctions against Russia Will Not Stop International Cooperation in Arctic Development.
27 April 2014
(EIRNS)—Sanctions imposed on Russia will have no impact on Russia’s international projects in the Arctic, because the country’s partners are interested in further polar cooperation, a senior Russian science official told RIA Novosti yesterday. "No sanctions, I emphasize that, even Canada’s démarche in the Arctic Council, will affect working relations. The [international] cooperation continues, information exchange continues, as well as an actual realization of the projects, including major investments," said Arkady Tishkov, deputy head of the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences during a panel discussion entitled "Arctic: Defence of Russian Interests."
Canada earlier refused to participate in a meeting of the Arctic Council in Moscow, and earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Ottawa could impose sanctions targeting Russian banks over the country’s stand on the situation in Ukraine.
An example showing that the Arctic development will go forward, is the announcement by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade on April 25 that they are considering a plan for the underutilized shipbuilding companies in Crimea and Sevastopol to build tankers for shipping liquefied natural gas from Arctic fields. "One of the options for filling the big orders of the shipbuilding yards is being developed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and it is the possibility of building LNG carriers for shipping liquefied natural gas from the Russian Arctic oil fields," a ministry statement said. "This initiative is being discussed with OJSC Sovcomflot, OJSC Gazprom and OJSC Novatek. Ships with such characteristics (300 meters in length and 50 meters in width) can be already built in the Zalyv Shipyard." The Zalyv Shipyard was one of the Soviet Union’s most important: In the 1980s, it built the Sevmorput, a nuclear-powered combination icebreaker, barge carrier and container ship. It served in the Arctic for many years and is now expected to be converted into a drilling ship for the Arctic. Other shipyards in Crimea include the Feodosia shipbuilding company Morye, the Sevastopol Marine Plant, and the MIK Shipyard.
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted during his April 17 four-hour "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" televised question and answer session with the public, that the Crimean shipbuilding industry was among the important industrial concerns in Crimea, which requires additional investment and modernization. [Dean Andromidas]