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Paavo Lipponen and Reijo Svento explore the prerequisites for the cable project in the North-East Passage

Paavo Lipponen and Reijo Svento explore the prerequisites for the cable project in the North-East Passage

Press release 27.04.2016 15.11 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner has appointed former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and former Managing Director of FiCom Reijo Svento to explore the prerequisites for international cooperation in launching the cable-laying project in the North-East Passage.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and supported by the Foreign Ministry's expertise and networks, the rapporteurs will clarify the extent to which the countries with an interest in the North-East Passage cable project are committed to the matter. The project would involve construction of a new high-capacity optical fibre cable via the North-East Passage between Asia and Europe.

- The Government has a strong intent to develop the Arctic region, and the submarine cable across the North-East Passage would open up major business opportunities, says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

The submarine cable connection would be the fastest physical telecommunications route from Asia to Northern and Central Europe. The route from the Arctic Ocean to the Baltic Sea could travel via Finland, Norway or Russia. The one via Finland would be the shortest option. The cable would bring not only speed but also respond to the rapidly increasing capacity needs.

The materialisation of the extensive and multinational cable project would require international commitment from at least Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Norway, certain EU countries and the United States. In addition, the European Union could have a significant role in this international cable project both as a beneficiary and provider of funding.

The rapporteurs' term will last from 2 May until 31 October 2016. An interim report must be submitted in August.

Inquiries: Mikael Nyberg, Director-General, tel. +358 40 837 8794