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Moscow promotes its northern route

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                While maritime traffic has been suspended since Tuesday in the Suez Canal following the grounding of the<em>Ever Given</em>, a giant container ship, Russia is highlighting its northern route.  Formerly known as the Northeast Passage, this seaway connects the Pacific to the Atlantic along the Russian Arctic coast.  It is certainly faster, but can only be fully exploited in summer.

                                    <p><em>With our correspondent in Moscow,  </em><strong>Jean-Didier Revoin</strong>

Improve the management of transport risks. This is the argument of Russian Foreign Affairs when they promote the northern sea route while the blockade of the Suez Canal pushes operators to find alternative trade routes.

Admittedly, skirting the Russian Arctic coasts saves 40% of time between Shanghai and Rotterdam, but there are major drawbacks. The route has few ports located in deep water and they remain trapped in the ice for three-quarters of the year.

In addition, the escort of icebreakers necessary to circulate there manages to create a channel about thirty meters wide. A space which is certainly suitable for LNG carriers, but which is insufficient for container ships whose width often reaches 50 meters.

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Remains that the climate change could change the situation: in 2020, the thickness of the arctic ice was divided by 5 compared to the levels of the 1980s. As for the ice cover, it reached a record low last September, with 26,000 km² only.

To listen and read also: The blockage of the Suez Canal disrupts the traffic of raw materials

♦ Turkey offers to help Egypt

Ankara offered Cairo authorities to send them a tug to tow the container ship Ever Given failed Tuesday in the Suez Canal and which blocks maritime traffic. A friendly gesture as the two countries seek to calm their relations after eight years of tensions.

With our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer

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Over the past two weeks, Turkish officials have followed one another to publicly remind the Cairo authorities of their desire to renew ties. After the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that of Defense, the Minister of Transport was therefore responsible for spreading the message. Adil Karaismailoglu announced that Turkey had offered Egypt to send the ship Nene Hatun in the waters of the Suez Canal to tow the immobilized container ship and accelerate the release of maritime traffic.

Read also: Suez Canal: the rescue of the container ship could take months

While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week said he wanted to increase ” the number of friends From Turkey, it seems in a hurry to repair its diplomatic relations with Egypt. The two countries have almost cut ties since the 2013 overthrow of Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Ankara authorities have never recognized the legitimacy of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whom Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often called ” putschist “. But in recent months, the Turkish president has ceased his criticism, and Egyptian opposition media based in Istanbul have recently been urged to do the same. According to Turkish media, Ankara hopes to be able to send a delegation to Cairo as early as June.

► To read also: Suspended in 2013, Turkey-Egypt diplomatic relations resume, assures Ankara


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