ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Project 22220 refers to a new type of nuclear-powered icebreaker Russia is currently constructing. The new vessels will be able to escort convoys in the Arctic, breaking ice up to three meters (some 10 feet) thick. Currently there are three ships in the project.
"Life itself will push us for creation of new nuclear-powered icebreakers. We believe that there should not be less than five [ships] in the project," Stanislav Golovinsky told RIA Novosti.
The Arctic shelf is believed to hold huge amounts of oil and natural gas. Russia has been laying claims to deposits within its offshore border areas, as have the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark.