The idea of the Russian Arctic becoming a mass maritime highway, meanwhile, remains far-off due to technological, economic and climate constraints. But transit prospects will also largely depend on whether Russia feels a maritime bridge between Europe and Asia would provide it with enough leverage and strength to outweigh the potential exposure along its last secure frontier. In the meantime, resource extraction projects in the Russian Arctic will continue to make up the bulk of shipping along the NSR. But as Russia continues its Arctic redevelopment with the help of Chinese funding, tensions between the three great powers in the vast frontier will undoubtedly grow more pronounced.
What Russia Stands to Gain, and Lose, From the Thawing Arctic is republished with the permission of Stratfor Worldview, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm. Image: Reuters.