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MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has urged the government to decide on building two new nuclear ice breakers in the next 18 months.
""We need to make a decision on additional construction of the third and fourth icebreakers in the next year and a half considering the growth of cargo volumes transported across the Northern Sea Route," Rogozin said speaking at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with members of the government.
Currently, Russia’s icebreaking fleet includes six nuclear icebreakers, one container vessel and four service ships.
Earlier Rogozin said that the first nuclear icebreaker of the new series will be completed in 2017. By 2020, three such ships will be commissioned.
Earlier this year the Baltic shipyard in St. Petersburg began the construction of Siberia, the first nuclear ship for the state atomic energy corporation Rosatom. The lead ship of the 22220 series project - Arktika has been under construction since 2013.
The construction of two nuclear ships of the 22220 series project will cost $1.6 billion.
The Northern Sea Route - the shortest sea corridor between the European part of Russia and the Far East.
The potential cargo transportation via the Northern Sea Route is estimated at 50 million tons per year.