Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted year-round navigation along the Northern Sea Route. Speaking at the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society, Putin said that this may happen "in the very near future, in the coming years."
Earlier, the director of the Main Geophysical Observatory, Vladimir Kattsov, said that accelerating climatic changes in Russia could trigger the destruction of permafrost, decrease the amount of sea ice in the Arctic and even cause ice on the Northern Sea Route to disappear entirely.
New opportunities are opening up for Russia as climate on Earth is changing. The navigation period on the Northern Sea Route will expand due to the melting of ice and glaciers. Such changes may bring additional profit to Russia.
In addition, Russia has been building the world's most powerful icebreaker fleet in the world, Putin said at the meeting on Wednesday, April 14.
"Russia is building the most powerful icebreaker fleet in the world, including such giant vessels as the Leader, which no one has ever built before," he said.
Putin also noted that on April 13, he had a conversation with President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, in which the two leaders discussed the work of the Arctic Council.
"Despite all difficulties that we are experiencing today in the international arena, research in the Arctic and attention to the Arctic remains unchanged," the Russian leader stated.
The consequences of climatic changes are manifested in the Arctic region powerfully, but no one can predict what kind of aftermath the world is going to face as a result of such changes, he said, adding that climate change makes Arctic research even more important.