07:43 GMT12 July 2020
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    The United States has not invested in a fleet of icebreakers, limiting the country’s access to the Arctic. The United States currently has only two icebreakers and one heavy icebreaker, the White House noted, while Russia has 40 icebreakers and plans to build another 11.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) –  The United States will speed up the building of heavy icebreakers for the Arctic and provide resources to expand its icebreaker fleet, the White House said in a press release on Tuesday.

    “The Administration will propose to accelerate acquisition of a replacement heavy icebreaker to 2020 from 2022, begin planning for construction of additional icebreakers, and call on Congress to work with the Administration to provide sufficient resources to fund these critical investments,” the White House said.

    The White House said with the warming of the Arctic and an increase in human activity, the United States aims to gain year-round access to the region.

    “These heavy icebreakers will ensure that the United States can meet our national interests, protect and manage our natural resources, and strengthen our international, state, local, and tribal relationships,” the White House said of the new investment in icebreakers.

    US officials have admitted the country has been slow in developing an Arctic policy compared to Russia, which has been pressing ahead with efforts to develop its Arctic territories, including hydrocarbon production and the development of the Northern Sea Route.

    Moscow has also boosted its military presence in the region.

    Related:

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    Russia to Deploy Naval Fighter, Surface to Air-Missile Regiments in Arctic
    Tags:
    icebreaker, natural resources, White House, Arctic, United States, Russia
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