Who owns the Northern Sea Route? For our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, this was the easiest question in a geography lesson. Pomors in the XIV century went to the New Earth and Grumand (Spitsbergen). In 1640 – 1668 years, the ataman Semyon Dezhnev passed on the coch from the mouth of the Lena to the mouth of Anadyr, simultaneously opening the strait, later named after him. Well, during the Great Northern Expedition in 1734 – 1741, Russian naval officers surveyed the shores along the entire Northern Sea Route.
17 December 1932, by a decision of the USSR Council of People's Commissars, formed a single transport and economic body - the Main Directorate of the Northern Sea Route (Glavsevmorput), which was responsible for the technical equipment of the route, the organization of regular transportation and safety of navigation on this route.
At the cost of enormous costs and the death of hundreds of people in 1932 – 1991, a well-equipped Northern Sea Route was created with dozens of ports and airfields. At the same time, during this period, apart from the Soviet ones, no other merchant ships passed through the Northern Sea Route.
CAPTURERS ARE DIFFERENT
In 1941 – 1944, Hitler attempted to seize the Northern Sea Route. In the Barents and Kara Seas, German raiders and submarines robbed. Later, the Germans were on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and east of Cape Chelyuskin. But always under the escort of "boys-vohrovtsev."
And now the German belt buckles, buttons for underpants, leaves with German text cause a flurry of sensations. And venerable writers and journalists talk about landings of the kriegsmarine, the construction of bases for submarines and missile positions in the mouths of the Lena, Kolyma and Indigirka.
In 1991, the passage along the Northern Sea Route was allowed to foreign ships. However, the first two foreign ships passed there only in the 2009 year. In 2011, they turned out to be 34, in 2012, 46, etc. So the mass passage of thousands of ships, as through the Panama and Suez Canals, around the Cape of Good Hope, etc., is not expected here in the foreseeable future.
30 April 1999 of the year in the Russian Federation were introduced rules for navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). According to them, in the water area of the SMP there is a permitting procedure for navigation of vessels, and the issuance of the relevant permit is carried out by the administration of the NSR on the basis of a statement from the shipowner. Nevertheless, the United States, Norway and a number of other countries officially believe that the NSR is an international maritime route, and the communications of the Arctic are "the common heritage of all mankind."
At the same time, the public of the West is sure that the enlightened European mariners opened the Northern Sea Route, and it is rightfully discovered by Europe. Thus, during three voyages in 1594 – 1597, the Dutch navigator William Barents discovered the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and unsuccessfully tried to pass through the Strait of Yugorsky Shar. As a result, the Barents Sea appeared on the maps of the Arctic.
However, in the notes of Barents and his companions, meetings with the ships of the coast-dwellers are constantly mentioned, and in the New Land itself, Barents discovered an abandoned Russian settlement.
A similar case was in the city of Udoeva, when Vasya Pupkin flew to Cyprus and discovered this island for the glorious inhabitants of Udoev.
In 1878, for the first time in stories the wooden schooner "Vega" of the Swedish navigator Nordensheld for one (!) navigation passed the Northern Sea Route. So, the Swedes are pioneers of the SMP. A Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen in the year 1893 took and called the sea the name of Nordenskiold.
They did not argue in Russia; two revolutions, the Japanese, German and Civil wars, took place there. The name of the Siberian multimillionaire Alexander Mikhailovich Sibiryakov, the owner of the factories, gold mines, the Yenisei, Lensky and Amur shipping companies, was forgotten. Meanwhile, it was he who decided to organize the “Northern Delivery”, that is, to charter sea vessels and deliver goods from Europe to the mouths of the Yenisei and Lena, from where river steamers of Sibiryakovo companies would transport them to the center of Siberia.
In 1876, Sibiryakov chartered the 400-ton steamer Imer, which was supposed to deliver the cargo to the mouth of the Yenisei River, where the steamer of the Sibiryakov society was waiting for him. Sibiryakov offered the Swede Erik Nordenskiöld to command "Imer".
In 1878, an iron screw ship “Lena” of a “river – sea” class was built specially for Sibiryakov in Sweden. To command them Sibiryakov hired Swede Johansen. Well, Nordenskjold asked for a fellow traveler. So it was or a little different, but it was the iron “Lena” that passed Chelyuskin Cape first, and after it was a wooden schooner “Vega” together with Nordensheld.
28 August 1878 of the year “Lena” and “Vega” came to Tiksi at the mouth of the Lena River. Then "Lena" went up the river, and "Vega" - to the east. September 27 "Vegu" wiped in the Kolyuchinskaya Bay in 222 km from the Bering Strait, she had to winter for 11 months. She left only 18 July 1879 of the year. From where in the reference books appeared the phrase “Nordenskiöld passed the NSR during one navigation”, one can only guess. Well, "Lena" under the command of Johannsen went to Lena for three more years, later she repeatedly went to sea, went to the mouth of the Yana, etc.
Moscow closed the volunteering of Mr. Nansen in 1935: the Nordenskjold Sea became the Laptev Sea - Russian officers who had been in those parts a century and a half before "all sorts of different Swedes."
BOMB PLEDGED IN THE CONVENTION
A reasonable question arises: why does the West falsify geographical discoveries in the Russian sector of the Arctic? Why put forward a claim to our Northern Sea Route?
A number of scientists and politicians explain this by the fact that in 1982, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed, which determined how the borders should pass along the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. According to the document, the boundaries of the economic zone of coastal states were set at a distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast of the mainland and islands.
In 1997, the Russian Federation ratified the convention and thus lost the rights to the “Russian sector”.
The expediency of signing the convention by the Yeltsin government is a rather controversial issue. In my opinion, the extension of this convention to the Arctic is an unforgivable mistake, fraught with numerous political complications or even armed conflicts.
Experts recognize the presence in the Russian sector of the Arctic huge reserves of oil, gas and other minerals. At the very end of the twentieth century, theories of sharp warming in the Arctic appeared. The pundits claimed that the ice in the Arctic would melt by the year of 2013. And then, they say, everyone will get free access to oil and gas production in the Russian sector of the Arctic.
But, alas, the ice does not want to melt. And the Arctic still periodically shows the world its cool temper. So, September 4 2013 of the year in the Mathisen Strait to the north of Taimyr, the Norwegian tanker Nordvik with a displacement of 6409 t flew over the ice floe. “Nordvik” had the Ice-1 (L4) ice reinforcement class and had permission to sail the Northern Sea Route on its own, without icebreakers. Nevertheless, the tanker took a lot of water and barely made it to Murmansk with a four-node course.
The framework of the article does not allow to dwell on the Canadian-Russian dispute over the shelf at the Lomonosov Ridge. But, one way or another, it is clear that the extraction of oil and gas in the Russian sector of the Arctic outside the 200-mile Russian economic zone is physically impossible without technical assistance from the Russian Federation and the use of the NSR. And the latter in many places passes through the territorial 12-mile waters of Russia, and Moscow has the right to decide whom to let there and who not.
It would seem that the United States, Canada, Norway and other countries are economically advantageous to improve relations with the Russian Federation and jointly exploit the wealth of the North. That is what the interests of big business require. But the West acts exactly the opposite.
ECONOMICS OR POLICIES
American researchers in uniform have long been chosen by the Arctic. Photo from www.navy.mil
Since 1991, a noisy but very influential group of Russian scientists, politicians and artists has been imposing a formula on the country: “First, the economy, and then politics.” But if Alexander III and Nicholas II acted according to this formula, then Russia would long ago have lost the Far East and Siberia. Recall that the Trans-Siberian Railway and Far Eastern voyages of Voluntary ships fleet were generally unprofitable.
And in general, by the 18th century, Russia would not be on a geographical map if the Moscow rulers acted according to this formula. The Novgorod boyars in the XII – XV centuries also believed that the economy was first, and then politics. Lord Novgorod the Great had the means to maintain an army capable of crushing any adversary. But the greedy nobles hoped: “Perhaps he will carry it by.” And if that - buy off. As a result, the entire active population of the Lord of Novgorod was destroyed or deported.
Ah, this is an ancient story! What about Maidan in February 2014 of the year? How many billion euros invested by the EU in the preparation of a coup? And how much did they spend after the coup? Ahead for the EU in Ukraine only huge expenses and no prospects for returning at least a tenth of loans.
So for the West the main thing is to destroy Russia, and for the sake of it they sacrificed, donate and will sacrifice their economic interests.
In the Arctic, the situation is similar to the Maidan. None of the owners of the few foreign vessels passing through the NSR, does not complain. Everyone is satisfied with the Russian rules. Meanwhile, the White House is demanding the internationalization of the path and is preparing for Arctic adventures.
I repeat: neither the US, nor the EU, nor the countries of Asia will receive any economic dividends if the NSR is internationalized.
The goal of the United States is to create a military threat to Russia from the North — this is the minimum program. The Pentagon plans to launch dozens of cruisers and destroyers carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles and Aegis missile defense systems on the Northern Sea Route. Onboard each are 90 universal vertical start installations. The type of missiles varies from the tasks assigned to the ship. The Aegis missile defense system can shoot down Russian ICBMs launched from mine launchers and nuclear submarines on ascending trajectories. Tomahawk cruise missiles have a range of 2200 km and from the Northern Sea Route can hit almost the entire territory of Russia, including Moscow, Volgograd, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, etc.
Well, the maximum program is a rejection of Siberia from Russia, followed by the collapse of the whole of Russia. Our media outlets write about the SMP mainly as a transit route from Murmansk to Vladivostok. But the overwhelming number of vessels on the highway do not make through flights, but carry cargo to Siberia and back.
In Siberia, dozens of navigable rivers flow from south to north and flow into the Arctic Ocean. And if in 1920-s the supply of Yakutia only for 10% came from the Arctic Ocean, in the middle of 1940-s it increased to 50%. Supply went on Lena and further on SPM. The same can be said about Kolyma, Indigirka, Yenisei and other rivers.
By taking control of the NSR, the US fleet will be able to manage the Northern Delivery. Formally, you can find fault with anything, with the same ecology. Western merchant ships will move uncontrollably along the coast of Siberia, climb up rivers, smuggle trade, carry out “humanitarian aid”, and establish contacts with the separatists.
It is not difficult to guess that for big money you can find a handful of people demanding "independence". Recall how in 2014, a bunch of bandyuganov terrorized Odessa. And the Center will try to restore order, along the Northern Sea Route and the rivers of Siberia, American marines will sail in "blue UN helmets".
PORTABLE TO THE ARCTIC
So, the internationalization of the Northern Sea Route for Russia will be the realization of the proverb “The claw is stuck - the whole bird is gone.”
One distinguished admiral complained that under socialism the Americans could not even think about capturing the Northern Sea Route. And now their ships will simply enter the Russian sector of the Arctic, and we will not be able to prevent them.
Americans are really getting ready. In this regard, it is indicative that, since 2012, the Navy submarine center and NASA have been working on an unmanned vehicle adapted for the Arctic. The task of the drone will include, in particular, tracking icebergs.
In addition, in recent years there has been a question about the modernization of icebreaking ships listed in the US Navy for coast guard. Two of the existing icebreakers - Polar Star and Polar Sea - have exceeded their 30-year service life. The third icebreaker, the Healy, does not have enough power to perform many operations. In 2011, the Polar Sea was put into repair, and the life of the Polar Star in 2012 was extended by 7 – 10 years to 2019 – 2022.
In June 2013, the Department of Homeland Security decided that the US Navy icebreaking fleet should consist of six icebreakers - three heavy and three medium. The cost of building one heavy icebreaker can range from 900 million dollars to 1,1 billion dollars. The construction of the icebreaker is scheduled for the 2018 year.
In 2009, the US Navy sent an Nimitz-type attack aircraft carrier John Stennis to the Arctic north of the Arctic Circle for combat patrols. In 2010, the destroyer "Porter" of the type "Arly Burke" performed exercises in the Arctic waters. In 2012, in the Arctic, the missile cruiser "Lake Erie" of the "Ticonderoga" type and the destroyer "Decatur" of the "Arly Burk" type, were on combat duty.
I will note that all the above cruisers and destroyers are carriers of Aegis missile defense systems and Tomahawk cruise missiles. What do they need in the Arctic? Protect Alaska or Greenland from Russians? Of course no. They rehearse the seizure of the Northern Sea Route.
Our media admirals are discussing whether the entire Northern Fleet can sink at least one American aircraft carrier. I automatically have a question: for what they were given admiral titles? Maybe for the fact that Rear Admiral Timur Gaidar, in his life did not even command a barge?
To begin with, in our complex and interdependent world, one or a series of asymmetrical counterattacks can be struck at a single point at a distance of thousands of kilometers from it. For example, sell "effective" weapon a country in conflict with the United States. America withdraws from the ABM Treaty. Why Russia does not withdraw from another arms limitation treaty?
As you know, the Russian Su-24 was shot down over the territory of Syria. And according to the Turkish version, he was above Turkey for a few seconds (!). And in the 2014, the Syrian Su-24 was shot down by an American Patriot missile because it flew 800 and m (!) Over the Golan Heights, that is, over Syrian territory, which Israel occupied in the 1973 year.
The United States and NATO approved the destruction of both aircraft and stated that this is consistent with international law. So why should Russia not use the precedent and not warn that any aircraft, surface ship or submarine that entered the territorial waters of Russia in the Arctic will be immediately destroyed?
And it is time for our brave admirals to remind that the court was not the 18th century, when the ships converged on a linear battle under the GOST rules and that one who had more ships and guns won. In peacetime, a Ticondeur-type cruiser can be forced out of the territorial waters by a tugboat with a strong hull. Let us recall the taran of the cruiser "Yorktown" off the coast of the Crimea in 1988 year.
And in the event of a local nuclear war, one MRK can easily sink an entire aircraft carrier formation to the bottom. To do this, it is enough to launch six cruise missiles with the control system turned off, that is, shoot at the area occupied by the order. The first missile should be launched 30 seconds earlier and equipped with an enemy missile approach sensor. Thus, if the Americans intercept it, the special charge will explode before the enemy missile hits. Similar sensors are available on all modern tanks.
The explosion of a special charge, for example, 20 CT, creates a huge electromagnetic pulse, disabling all radio electronic means of ships and anti-aircraft missiles. So the remaining five cruise missiles launched by the ISCs will be guaranteed to cover an American order. Ships will be sunk or disabled. In the latter case, the MRK will come up and finish off everything that remains on the surface from AK-176.
But in principle, you can do without the ISCs, and even without a tug. Most of the SMP is shallow, and modern sea mines can be placed to a depth of 2 km. We are talking about mines torpedoes. Modern mines are highly intelligent, they can “sleep” for several months and be activated by a signal. Mines can be equipped with a "friend - foe" sensor in the same way as was done on rockets. Thus, mines will be harmless to their ships and pose a mortal danger to violators of our borders. The setting of minefields in peacetime, for example during exercises, does not contradict international maritime law.
According to international agreements, in the economic zone any state has the right to free navigation, laying of communication cables and pipelines. Moreover, the latter is done in practice after long negotiations with the owner of the economic zone. Let us recall at least the epic with the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic. But the installation of military equipment at the bottom of the economic zone, on ice floes, etc. agreements are not provided. That is, Russia can destroy or withdraw any military automatic equipment found in its economic zone, and itself put anything.
For more than 40 years, the United States and England have put their hydroacoustic stations and other intelligence equipment in our economic zone in the Arctic. Moreover, off the coast of Russia, in the Barents and Okhotsk seas, they repeatedly installed “cocoons” on secret Russian cable lines.
The most curious thing is that we learn about all these Yankee pranks only from the messages of the Western media. There is a statute of limitations or information leakage, and then the Western (!) Media publish sensational materials. Well, our military about these things keep proud silence. They are being watched, they are bugged, but all this is a state secret from their own people, and the admirals do not want to disclose it.