The session, moderated by Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev, was held today, on June 16, as part of the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
Two years ago, the pandemic exposed the critical vulnerability of the world economy to disruption of maritime transport. Today, with the biggest economic war in history in the West and quarantine restrictions in the East, international maritime trade is under unprecedented pressure. Restrictions on freedom of navigation, which accounts for up to 90 per cent of all the world's moving cargo, have multiplied costs, disrupted routes tried and tested for decades, and ramped up inflation everywhere. The Russian merchant fleet is faced with widespread sanctions pressure caused by the desire to exclude the country from global logistics chains.
Under these circumstances, the task of building a new connectivity of countries and regions comes to the fore. This will require the reopening of inland waterways and the accelerated development of promising maritime routes and a new fleet to operate and service them. What kind of fleet would it be and would it be possible to “switch” logistics to new trade routes? How to ensure year-round navigation and integrate Russian rivers into international transport corridors? What is the potential of the Northern Sea Route and why is the icebreaking programme especially relevant today? Where can the Russian shipbuilding industry attract investment in the face of external constraints? These questions were addressed by the speakers: Ivan Demchenko, Shareholder, Novostal-M; Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation; Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Kirill Lipa, General Director, Transmashholding; Alexey Rakhmanov, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, United Shipbuilding Corporation; Vyacheslav Fetisov, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Goodwill Ambassador, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Chairman, All-Russian Society of Nature Conservation; Ilya Shestakov, Head, Federal Agency for Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo); Ksenia Bolomatova, Deputy Director General, United Grain Company; Stanislav Georgievskiy, Vice President, Russian Export Center; Eduard Zernin, Chairman of the Board, Major Shareholder, BIO-TON Agri Corp., Chairman of the Executive Board, RUSGRAIN UNION (The Russian Union of Grain Exporters); Satish Soni, Vice Admiral, Commandant, National Defence Academy (NDA) (1976–2016).
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