Fight for supremacy in the Arctic: Russia is fighting to build giant icebreakers


In order to take over the dominance of the US and China in the Arctic, Russia is trying to build giant icebreakers.

Russia has managed to become a leading power in the region where Moscow was able to develop a new shipping route due to the receding ice cover.

Read more on Fight for supremacy in the Arctic: Russia is fighting to build giant icebreakers…


In order to take over the dominance of the US and China in the Arctic, Russia is trying to build giant icebreakers.

Russia has managed to become a leading power in the region where Moscow was able to develop a new shipping route due to the receding ice cover.

President Vladimir Putin has given the warming region priority and has invested heavily in the so-called North Sea Route, which enables ships to reach Asian ports up to 15 days faster than via the traditional Suez Canal route.

×

Transit in the Eastern Arctic usually ends in November, but Moscow hopes the icebreakers will help it use the route, which becomes more accessible all year round due to climate change.

The ships begin their journey at the Baltic Sea shipyard from the imperial era, the birthplace of all Soviet nuclear-powered icebreakers, art from a single source – the Lenin, which has now been converted into a museum and docks in the Arctic port of Murmansk.

The four new ships “Sibir”, “Ural”, “Yakutia” and “Chukhotka” will be stationed there.

The ships are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions in the far north, are 52 meters high and 173 meters long, and are able to break through ice up to 2.8 meters thick.

Russia did not skimp on the advantages of the Arctic. Each ship commissioned by the state nuclear power company Rosatom costs more than 340 million euros (400 million US dollars).

It will require more than 1,000 people to build and will take five to seven years to complete.

The icebreakers will mark a turning point in Russia’s use of the Arctic, according to Leonid Grigoriyev of the World Economics Department at Moscow School of Economics.

While Russia is already using the North Sea route “intensively”, says Grigoryev, the eastern Arctic is still “completely freezing and would not be usable all year round without the icebreakers”.

The expansion of the Northern Sea Route is intended in particular to simplify the delivery of oil and gas to Southeast Asia by connecting the Atlantic and Pacific via the Arctic in record time.

Global competition for navigation routes in the Arctic has increased and tensions, particularly between the USA, Russia and China, have increased.

At the inauguration of Arktika last year, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the icebreaker fleet would “ensure Russian superiority in the Arctic”.

(With contributions from agencies)

.

COMMENTS