EM – Moscow is flexing its muscles in the Arctic with its nuclear icebreaker fleet

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the Naval Day parade in St. Petersburg on July 25, 2021.

Photo:(
AFP
)

As the ice caps melt in the Arctic, new waterways are emerging. Russia is taking steps to maintain its naval dominance in the region.

Russia is preparing for domination in the Arctic, where melting ice and dwindling ice sheets are creating new waterways. Russia’s ambition is to build a fleet of huge nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Russia regards the development of the Arctic as a historic mission. It already has huge projects to exploit its natural resources.

The next big plan is year-round use of the North Sea Route, a shipping route through Arctic waters that Russia hopes could compete with the Suez Canal.

In this summer an icebreaker called Fleet of giant nuclear powered icebreakers. His captain told AFP that Russia has a special role to play in the Arctic.

“A third of our territory is above the Arctic Circle. Our ancestors have long ruled frozen waters. We are continuing this successfully,” said Dmitry Lobusov.

President Vladimir Putin has made Arctic development a strategic priority, and state-owned companies like Gazprom Neft, Norilsk Nickel and Rosneft already have major projects in the Arctic to extract oil, gas and minerals.

“The Arctic has enormous potential, “said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak earlier this month.

” In terms of resources, we’re talking about 15 billion tons of oil and 100 trillion cubic meters of gas. Enough for dozens, if not hundreds of years, ” he said.

It is currently not navigable all year round without the help of icebreakers, but some specialized ship classes can pass in the summer.

As in March a huge container ship blocked the busy Suez shipping route, Moscow advertised the North Sea passage as a “viable alternative”.

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