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France's CMA CGM will not send ships through Arctic route

The CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery container ship sits docked during its official inauguration in Le Havre

PARIS (Reuters) - French shipping company CMA CGM will not send its container ships through the Arctic sailing route to Asia in order to protect its environment, the company said on Friday.

The privately-held company said in a statement none of its 500 ships would sail between Europe and Asia along the Russian coast, a cheaper route that has been made possible by global warming.

The sailing of large container ships in the preserved area could have dire consequences on its unique biodiversity, the company added.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Leigh Thomas)