Vladimir Putin has asked the international community to help develop the Northern Sea Route which connects the Arctic from the Far East to the West.
The Russian president spoke at the 5th International Arctic Forum in Saint Petersburg attended by leaders from several northern countries.
The route, which is frozen most of the year, has become more accessible due to global warming.
Putin wants to increase the amount of cargo passing through the route tenfold over the next five years.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports.