Russia’s state-owned nuclear engineering company Rosatom and UAE-based global ports operator DP World have entered into an agreement to collaborate on the development of Eurasian logistics and container shipping via the Northern Sea Route (NSR), a potential trade route connecting Asia and Europe.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Rosatom said the agreement represents a significant step towards establishing a viable container shipping route through the NSR, which would serve as a supplementary option to the existing routes around Africa or through the Suez Canal.

By reducing the distance between Asia and Europe and utilising LNG-fueled vessels, the NSR would considerably decrease emissions compared to the current routes around Africa or through the Suez Canal.

Currently, the maritime sector contributes nearly three percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Alexei Likhachev, the Director General of ROSATOM, stated, "With the annual growth of global trade, there is a need for efficient, secure, and well-established cargo transportation routes to ensure the sustainability of global supply chains. The Northern Sea Route is one such route, and the strategic cooperation between Rosatom and DP World will contribute to the development of its transit potential."

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, emphasised the importance of global solutions for global trade.

“The blockage of the Suez Canal in 2020, the vulnerability of global trade to shocks, holding up trade valued at $9 billion a day. The Northern Sea Route could be transformative for both global trade and the environment. Not only would it cut maritime carbon emissions, but it offers a new option for customers who depend on a single trade artery.”

(Writing by Senthil Palanisamy; Editing by Anoop Menon)