"Given the current situation in the Black Sea, with strained relations with Turkey, Russia needs a reliable, free and, most importantly, year-round access to the open ocean. In this respect, in my opinion, there is no alternative to the NSR," Rogozin said during a session of the Russian Federation Council.
Relations between Russia and Turkey have been strained since Ankara shot down a Russian Su-24 plane because the fighter jet allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Russia has denied allegations and imposed a set of economic measures against Turkey in retaliation.
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia. In June 2015, Russia announced development plans for the Northern Sea Route from 2015 to 2030.