Russia’s Ministry of Defense takes charge of Arctic shipping

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured above left with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov) and his Ministry of Defence are getting a bigger role in Arctic logistic issues. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/The Canadian Press)
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured above left with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov) and his Ministry of Defence are getting a bigger role in Arctic logistic issues. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/The Canadian Press)
Company Oboronlogistika gets status as united logistics operator for Russian Arctic shipments.

Oboronlogistika was established in 2011 and is 100 percent owned by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Now, the company is given a key role in state shipping operations in the Arctic.

In a meeting in the Russian Arctic Commission in mid-May this year, the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Transport were requested to present proposals on the establishment of a joint logistics operator for the Arctic, a transcript from the meeting reads.

That soon lead to a deal with Oboronlogistika. 

Delivering things to the Arctic

In June, the company signed agreements with several federal ministries, among them the Ministry of Defense, as well as with Arkhangelsk Oblast about the establishment of “a simple, understandable and economically efficient system for delivery of goods in the Arctic».

«The Ministry has decided to coordinate the efforts of all involved ministries in order to facilitate a joint tariff policy and work schemes for the Northern Sea Route, as well as in [the general] Arctic Zone», leader of Oboronlogistika Anton Filatov said in a meeting with Arkhangelsk Governor Igor Orlov.

Industrial & military shipments are increasing to the Russian Arctic

The governor of Arkhangelsk is pleased about the role of the new company. 

«Currently, there are four different companies which deliver industral, military and municipal goods to the far northern territories, and each of the companies operate independently and with their separate solutions and technology», Orlov said.

Russia's Northern Sea Route is an increasing focus for Russia. (iStock)
Russia’s Northern Sea Route is an increasing focus for Russia. (iStock)

«This fragmentation is inconvenient and inefficient especially when considering the strategic tasks on the development and management of this territory», he added, a press release from his regional government reads.

Oboronlogistika was in March this year officially got status as shipping company, and in April it got a state license for sea transportation of dangerous goods, the company websiteinforms.

The new role of the company comes as both industrial and military Russian Arctic shipments are picking pace. Ship traffic to Yamal is growing in connection with the development of new oil and gas activities, and the Ministry of Defence is building new and upgraded bases along the coast and on the Arctic archipelagos.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  How Arctic shipping could boost Canada’s trade relationship with Asia, Radio Canada International

China: Chinese company mulls more Arctic shipping, Barents Observer

Iceland: Calls for action at Arctic shipping conference, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  Arctic shipping – The myths, the realities & the challenges ahead, Eye on the Arctic

Russia:  Arctic cruise industry expands, Cryopolitics Blog

Sweden: Swedish icebreakers gear up for Arctic role, Radio Sweden

United States:  Arctic no shipping rival to Suez: expert, Alaska Public Radio Network

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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