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FEODOSIYA, May 11. /TASS/. Russian shipyards are already building several icebreakers to operate on the Northern Sea Route (NSR), Russian Minister of Industry Denis Manturov said on Tuesday.
"As far as the Northern Sea Route and construction of Russia’s icebreaker fleet is concerned, several icebreakers are built now. Three 60 MW icebreakers are under construction at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg," Manturov said.
Icebreakers are mainly built by two nations, the minister said. "There are two main icebreaking fleet producers in the world. Unique technologies and science in this sphere have been developed in Russia and with our European colleagues - Finland. An enterprise owned by the shipbuilding corporation is located right in Helsinki’s downtown," Manturov added.
Russia intends to escort commercial vessels over the Northern Sea Route, the minister said. "We assume the program of the Ministry of Transport and the Defense Ministry will support commercial vessels escorting along the Northern Sea Route. This will provide additional economic benefits at large and for freight operators. This is beneficial on account of the shorter sea route," Manturov said.
The NSR is twice shorter than other sea routes from Europe to the Far East and is the main transport line in the Russian Arctic Region.