‘Arctic Silk Road’ Comes Alive As Russia Sends First LNG Tanker To Asia This Year

The ‘Arctic Silk Road’ has come alive as Bloomberg ship-tracking data shows that Russia has sent the first LNG tanker, Fedor Litke, to Asia this year.

This year, Russia shipped its first liquefied natural gas cargo via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in the Arctic onboard the vessel Fedor Litke. The tanker was loaded at the Yamal LNG plant in the country’s north. 

Bloomberg ship-tracking data shows Fedor Litke was loaded on June 3 and is en route in the first observed voyage to Asia this year. 

Western energy sanctions have pushed Russia to sail tankers east through the Arctic Circle toward China — a shipping lane dubbed the ‘Arctic Silk Road.’ This route is reshaping global energy flows as it now takes half the time for a tanker from Russia to arrive in Asia instead of taking the conventional route through the Suez Canal. 

Even before the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions on Moscow, trade flows were already in the beginning stages of shifting toward the NSR. 

Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, told reporters that the new currency created by BRICS nations may offer a shield from sanctions.

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