Many things might, and usually are, said about Russian business practices. After the collapse of Soviet Russia, the wholesale theft of billions of dollars-worth of minerals, of whole industries, of vast quantities of oil and gas sufficient to power whole Continents was achieved by the Oligarchs. These are the people who nowadays buy football clubs as though they were supermarket items, the people who order massive yachts, and then visit for a day, to find out that their boats have been outstripped in terms of length, engine capacity, and the obscene amounts of booze carried on board, by the next Russian or Ukrainian thief along the line. But modern Russia, ruled over by comrade Putin, knows the value of their roubles, knows that their mineral wealth is foremost in keeping the Capitalist wolf from the Russian State’s borders, and also knows that their oil and gas wealth are a really good lever to keep the EU sanctions from biting too hard.

They also must know that the so-called Climate Emergency is not real, the  world isn’t warming up because of excess Carbon Dioxide, and the Russian State certainly isn’t going to shut down their lucrative gas and oil sales because a few thousand deluded lobbyists, aided and abetted by an autistic schoolgirl with a vastly-inflated sense of her own importance; say so. Despite all the catastrophic warnings of sea levels rising, and flooding everywhere, and ‘We’ll all be drowned in our beds’ panic statements, no-one. repeat no-one, has been forced to abandon their homes because of rising sea levels.

As for the oft-claimed Arctic ice melting away, the Russians seem to be of the belief that this will not only NOT happen, the prevailing thickness may well, in Russian business planning terms, be heading towards being thicker. The proof of this thinking is the planning and building, as  the Russian State-owned shipping company Sovcomflot signed a long-term charter agreement with gas producer Novetek for the new ice-breaking LNG (LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS) carrier. The vessel will be constructed at Russia’s Zvezda Shipbuilding and it is designed for year-round operations in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and the Gulf of Ob and will be able to sail independently through ice over two metres thick. In 2017, Sovcomflot introduced the world’s first icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie. Along with the massive Russian State fleet of nuclear and conventionally-powered ice-breakers, does the planned purchase of these hugely expensive ships, by an astute Russian energy sector, say one thing, and one thing only: that the Russians know that the ice ain’t going nowhere fast, and if the Russians want to take the LNG from their Arctic fields, they will need ice-breaking capacity for a long, long time yet!