Soviet Union Table of Contents
The Soviet Union has the world's most extensive coastline-- along two oceans and twelve seas--which has served as a transportation link to the rest of the world. The Arctic Ocean and its seas provided international as well as domestic lines of communication to the economically emerging northern areas and constituted a water bridge between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Pacific Ocean opened the Soviet Far East areas to trade with Japan and the Pacific rim countries. Although access to oceans was more restricted, the Baltic and Black seas provided the Soviet Union with outlets to the North Atlantic and South Atlantic and to the Mediterranean Sea, respectively. A fleet of modern coastal vessels provided an essential, and frequently the sole, transportation link between the extreme northern and the Far East parts of the country and the industrialized base. For foreign trade, the Soviet Union relied on a well-equipped and specialized fleet of vessels calling at the ports of practically every maritime nation in the world. Besides carrying over half of the country's export-import freight, the Merchant Fleet (Morskoi flot--Morflot) was an effective adjunct to the Soviet Naval Forces and served the country's political and military needs.
Data as of May 1989