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Climate Change

Russia's Arctic grip to weaken as ice melts, study says

Brown University sees shipping routes moving out to international waters

An LNG tanker and icebreaker sail side by side in the Arctic Ocean in the winter: A report from Brown University suggests melting ice will weaken Russia's control of the Northern Sea Route.    © Sovcomflot/Kyodo

TOKYO -- Russia has long dreamed of becoming a superpower in the High North, thanks to its 24,000 km coastline on the Arctic Ocean.

The Northern Sea Route, which runs along Russia's Arctic coast, is considered the shortest available shipping path between Asia and Europe. Leveraging its geography, Moscow requires all vessels sailing the route to be piloted by Russians, charges tolls and requires ships -- including warships -- to provide advance notice of their passage plans.

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