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    Russia to Lay Down First Arctic Patrol Ship in 2017 - Navy Deputy Commander

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    The first ice-capable patrol ship for the Russian Navy will be laid down at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg in 2017, Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice Adm. Viktor Bursuk said Wednesday.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — According to Bursuk, the vessel will be capable to break the ice thickness of up to 5 feet.

    "Taking into account that there is currently a big global interest in the Arctic and that Russia has the longest border in the Arctic region, the navy has a task of protecting our interests in the region. That is why we will lay the keel of the first ice-class ship this year… This will be a multipurpose ship, which must be capable to autonomously operate in any sea of the Arctic region," Bursuk told reporters.

    Russia has been stepping up its military, trade and exploration activities in the Arctic. It has been building transport and energy production infrastructure, as well as installing military facilities and developing the Northern Sea Route linking Europe and Asia.

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