According to Russian media, Russia is putting the Northern Sea Route “under its protection”. The government has hammered out rules for the passage of foreign warships through national legislation. US representatives have repeatedly stated that they are also interested in the Northern Sea Route and claimed that Russia “has no right to dictate its terms there.”
According to the new Russian legislation, foreign vessels will now have to notify Russia of their plans within 45 days and take on board Russian maritime pilots. Passage can be denied, and in the event of unauthorized travel along the route, “Russia will be able to employ emergency measures, going as far as arresting or destroying the vessel”. The rules were developed due to the “intensification of the naval activities of various states in the Arctic zone” and are reportedly aimed at maintaining control over the environment and merchant shipping.
According to President of the Center on Global Interests in Washington, Nikolay Zlobin, the new rules for passing through the Northern Sea Route are a continuation of a consistent policy. “Russia has, for a long time, faced dissatisfaction from the United States, Canada, and a number of European countries, even China claims access to the North,” he explained.