The ministry said in the statement:
- Russia's unique geographical location gives it natural advantages in the global energy market in terms of access to the main consumer markets, as well as the speed of delivery of fuel and energy
- Large Russian export projects such as the Druzhba oil pipeline, oil pipelines to China as well as the Yamal-Europe, Nord Stream, Power of Siberia and Turkish Stream gas pipelines are highly reliable and competitive in terms of transportation costs, and reliability compared to alternative routes of energy supply
- The Northern Sea Route continues to expand navigation time, which reached 9-10 months in 2020, and has significant potential for expanding volumes of cargo transportation, allowing for a significant reduction in the time it takes to transport goods from Asia to Europe
The NSR is the shortest route between Europe and Asia, almost 1/3 shorter than shipping via the Suez Canal.
However, the route is closed for shipping due to ice for around half the year.
The Russian energy ministry said it expects further growth in supplies in line with Russian President V. Putin's order to increase freight traffic via the route to 80 million mt/year by 2024.
Russia plans to capitalize on the impact of climate change on Arctic Sea ice, as well as development of major oil & gas production projects in the Far North and East Siberia to develop the route, despite ecological concerns.