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Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 07:56 UK

Arctic ship routes 'already open'

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The North-east passage, running from the northern Pacific to the North Sea along the northern coast of Russia, has until recently been too icy to navigate.

Reporter Richard Galpin meets one of two German ships who have just completed the journey at the Russian port of Arkhangelsk.

Professor Paul Berkman, head of the Arctic Ocean geopolitics programme at the University of Cambridge, considers whether there will be battle for ownership of this potentially valuable trade route.

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