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Source: The post is based on the article “Putin unveils Russia’s ‘Arctic power’ with launch of nuclear icebreakers” published in The Hindu on 23rd November.
What is the News?
The Russian President unveiled two nuclear-powered icebreakers that will ensure year-round navigation in the Western Arctic.
About the new nuclear-powered icebreakers
Yakutia: It is having a 173.3-metre with a displacement of up to 33,540 tonnes. It can smash through the ice of up to three metres. It will enter service in 2024.
Rossiya: It is a super-powerful nuclear 209-metre icebreaker. It has a displacement of up to 71,380 tonnes which would be completed by 2027. It will be able to break through ice four metres thick.
Two other icebreakers in the same series, the Arktika and the Sibir, are already in service. Another icebreaker Chukotka, is scheduled for 2026.
These are part of Russia’s large-scale, systematic work to re-equip and replenish the domestic icebreaker fleet, to strengthen Russia’s status as a great Arctic power.
Significance: a) According to Russia such icebreakers were of strategic importance for the country. b) They are needed for the study and development of the Arctic, and c) They will help in ensuring safe, sustainable navigation in the Arctic region.
What is the significance of the Arctic region?
The Arctic is taking on greater strategic significance due to climate change. As a shrinking ice cap opens up new sea lanes. Vast oil and gas resources lie in Russia’s Arctic regions, including a liquefied natural gas plant on the Yamal Peninsula.