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US, Russia propose revamped ship routes for Bering Strait

25 January 2018

The United States and Russia have proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea to accommodate increased Arctic shipping traffic, the US Coast Guard (USCG) said on 25 January.

The USCG, US Navy, and other organisations have predicted for years Arctic shipping would increase as melting polar ice opened more seaway space, leading not only to shipping route changes, but also a greater need for strategic oversight and military preparedness.

“Diminishment of polar ice could lead in coming years to increased commercial ship, cruise ship, and naval surface ship operations, as well as increased exploration for oil and other resources, in the Arctic,” the Congressional Research Service said in a report released in October 2017 on polar ice-breaking.

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