23:45 GMT +323 October 2019
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    The atomic icebreaker Yamal during researches carried out in the Kara Sea as part of the world's largest Arctic expedition in the recent 20 years, Kara-Winter 2015

    Russian Navy to Create Special Icebreaker Fleet to Protect Interests in Arctic

    © Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov
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    The Russian Navy will create a special group of icebreakers for the protection of islands along the country’s Arctic coast, the Russian Izvestia newspaper reports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The new fleet of military icebreakers will also likely include ice-class ships capable of carrying artillery and missile weaponry, the newspaper said on Friday.

    Last month, Rear Adm. Igor Zvarich, the Russian Navy's technical department chief, said that a new generation of Russia's diesel-electric icebreakers, the Ilya Muromets-class, could go into mass production.

    Also in June, the lead icebreaker of Project 21180, the Ilya Muromets, was launched at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg. It is the first icebreaker constructed for the Russian Navy in the last 45 years, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

    In 2013, Moscow announced a strategy to increase its presence in the Arctic and to boost the region's development by 2020. In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a revised maritime doctrine prioritizing the protection of national interests in the Arctic.

    The Arctic is considered a major source of hydrocarbons, minerals, fresh water and fish. The region's resources are a matter of interest for states bordering the area as well as Arctic Council members, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.


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