21:24 GMT30 July 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has the most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet in the world and will continue to develop it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a Kremlin Russia Day celebration.

    "We have the most powerful icebreaker fleet actually, the most powerful nuclear icebreaker fleet is in Russia, and we are developing it. We are going to build several more next-generation, very powerful icebreakers in the near future, including the ‘Lider’ [‘Leader’, Project 10510]. There is currently no such icebreaker in the world and never was, not even here [in Russia]," Putin said on Saturday.

    The Russian President specified that "Lider" will be able to break through ice of any thickness, up to 3 meters (10 feet).

    Russia is currently constructing the third and fourth Project 22220 serial icebreakers, Yakutia and Chukotka, with delivery scheduled for 2024 and 2026, respectively.

    In May, US Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said that the US was discussing plans to lease a heavy icebreaker to increase its presence in the Arctic while building a ship of its own - a process that could take up to a decade.

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    Tags:
    Russia, Putin, Vladimir Putin, icebreakers, icebreaker, fleet, Russia Day, Russia Day address
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