January 28, 2021

Whatever Floats Russia's Boats


Whatever Floats Russia's Boats
Getting ready to break the ice. Kremlin.ru (CC Fair Use)

Russia has seen a year of staggering accomplishments. As the first country to approve and release a Covid vaccination (with a namesake, no less, derived from the first satellite to achieve Earth orbit); the sequel to an internationally acclaimed assassination attempt; and the reveal of a massive palace on the Black Sea that, according to Russian Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, “probably” exists “but what has the president got to do with it?” – you might be asking, “What else can go right for the Russian Federation?

It turns out that, with the abject failure of the Paris Agreement to slow climate change in the short-term, Russia might also be celebrating an economic boon.

The Russian ice-breaking tanker Cristophe de Margerie has managed to cross the Northern Sea Route, which is normally impassable at this time of year.

Transport Minister Vitaliy Savelyev has praised the feat, citing “a historical day for the development of the Northern Sea Route and national shipping” and “a step toward year-round commercial shipments on the route.”

If the Arctic ice keeps shrinking, Russia may well meet its goal of nearly doubling the tonnage of products shipped across the Northern Sea Route – from 80 to 130 million – by 2035.

Press Secretary Peskov is rumored to have commented that environmental degradation “probably” exists, “but what has Russia got to do with it?”

 

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