The unusually severe ice conditions this year in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland have forced Russia to think about buying a whole range of new icebreakers from Finland. This was announced yesterday in an interview with the STT News Agency by Kimmo Juurmaa, the head of the Arctic research centre of Finland's leading shipbuilding company Kvaerner Masa-Yards.
According to Juurmaa, Kvaerner Masa-Yards' experts are currently preparing a proposal for the Russian Transport Ministry on supplying Russia with a range of port icebreakers. If commercial negotiations are successful, the company hopes to receive an order for 15 icebreakers to be built in 2004-2005. One port icebreaker costs about EUR 40 million, so the whole deal would be worth around EUR 600 million. One third of the icebreakers would be deployed in the Gulf of Finland, one third in the White Sea, and the rest in the Far East.