The US strategically and tactically loses to Russia in the Arctic, Business Insider wrote with reference to the commander of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft. Russia uses "icebreaking corvettes" in the Arctic, which are essentially ice-breaking warships, the admiral said. According to him, Russia behaves in the Arctic like China does in the East and in the South China seas, as if Arctic is all Russian.
"We do have a strategy for the Arctic, and at the same time we're looking at Russia increasing its presence, and now we have China increasing its presence. Russia has gone as far as to claim most of the Arctic Ocean as theirs," the US Admiral said. "Russia has not been transparent in what their intent is, and so we're playing a strategic game of chess up in the Arctic. And Russia's got ... all the pieces on the chessboard. I've only got a couple of pawns. I don't even have a queen, let alone a king," Zukunft also said.
Chairman of the All-Russian Fleet Support Movement, First Rank Captain Mikhail Nenashev told Pravda.Ru that the United States was not an Arctic state in a broad sense of the word. "The USA touches upon the Arctic region thanks to Alaska that used to be part of Russia too," the expert said.
The list of Arctic states includes Russia, Norway, Canada and Iceland, while all others "can be invited as guests," Nenashev said.
"The Arctic is the summit of the world, the pole of humanity. "We would invite the Americans, if it wasn't for their military and naval aggressiveness, because their always poke their noses into someone else's affairs," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
"This is not a game of chess for Russia, this is our natural habitat," Mikhail Nenashev continued. "We have been living here for more than a thousand years, and the Arctic has always been the basis of life for us. Russia needs to develop the Arctic - this is a question of our development rather than military rivalry with anyone," he added.
As for the "corvettes," the primary function of those icebreaking vessels is to deliver cargoes to certain islands, where only an icebreaker can deliver them to. If necessary, however, they can also perform military functions, Nenashev reminded.
According to Business Insider, Russia has 46 icebreakers of all types in the Arctic: four of them are heavy polar icebreakers, 23 are medium or lightweight vessels. At that time, the US has three light icebreakers in the region and only one heavy polar icebreaker.
Russian sources say that Russia has 30 diesel and four nuclear-powered icebreakers in the Arctic today. In addition, Russia builds the Arctic fleet of ice-class attack ships capable of carrying both artillery and missile weapons.
For example, nuclear icebreaker project 22220 is equipped with a two-reactor power plant. The ship has the crew of 75 people and is 173.3 meters long and 34 meters wide. The nuclear-powered vessel has a unique construction of the hull, which makes the vessel usable both in the Arctic seas and in the mouths of northern rivers.
Chinese military experts are confident that there are only three countries of the world - Russia, the United States and China - that are capable of developing and building fifth generation fighter aircraft