"Ice Levels, Rule Changes To Boost Arctic Northern Sea Route"

"Shipping along the Arctic northern sea route is set to grow more than 30-fold over the next eight years and could account for a quarter of the cargo traffic between Europe and Asia by 2030, experts said on Wednesday."

"With global warming thawing sea ice, the route, which runs along Russia's northern coast and links Europe with ports in East Asia, is opening for longer and longer each year.

Russia is also easing regulations to accommodate more vessels aiming to spur use of the still fledgling route which can cut travel time between Europe and Asia by up to 40 percent.

"Russia clearly sees the opportunity and is trying to take advantage of it," said Mikhail Belkin, an adviser at Atomflot, the operator of Russia's nuclear icebreaker fleet."

Balazs Koranyi reports for Reuters May 30, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 05/30/2013