Navigation in the Northern Sea Route: interaction of Russian and international applicable law // Polar Journal. 2020. Vol. 10, Issue 2. P. 285-302. DOI 10.1080/2154896X.2020.1844404.
The current legal regime of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as it is defined by Russian legislation based on relevant international customary rules is now facing new challenges in the context of the obligations of Russia under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Being part of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF), as it is legally defined now in the ‘Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the Period up to 2035’ (promulgated by the President of the Russian Federation in 2020), the NSR is defined by Russian Law as ‘a historically established’ national transport communication ‘of the Russian Federation in the Arctic’. On the other hand, the latest Russian legal acts, including Order of the Government of the Russian Federation (2019) ‘Infrastructure Development Plan of the Northern Sea Route for the period until 2035’, guides Russian agencies to encourage increasing international carriages between the countries of Europe, Asia and America via the NSR. In this context this paper presents relative options for harmonisation of the status of the AZRF and of the NSR with the rules of international law on the internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone, with special emphasis on the applicability of Article 234 of UNCLOS to the NSR and Russian legislation on the NSR to warships.
Keywords: Northern Sea Route | UNCLOS | arctic zone of the Russian Federation | ice-covered areas |
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