The Russian government has developed new rules of passage for foreign warships moving through the Northern Sea Route, Izvestia newspaper reported on March 6 citing an obtained document.
According to the document, foreign warships and ships will have to inform the Russian side about their plans to pass through the Northern Sea Route 45 days ahead and take aboard Russian marine pilots. At the same time, the Russian side can reject the passage request.
Experts quoted by Izvestia say that if some ships attempt to pass the Northern Sea Route without a Russian approval, they could be arrested and in the worst case scenario even destroyed.
Izvestia says that the new document was developed in response to “the increasing military activity of foreign states”.
In February, Adm. James Foggo, the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Joint Forces Command Naples, called to limit Russian sovereignity and over its northern territories. His remarks were particularly aimed at the Northern Sea Route.
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping route officially defined by Russian legislation as lying east of Novaya Zemlya and specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait. The entire route route lies within Russia’s exclusive economic zone.