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Arthur Chilingarov: “We can not catch up with anyone in the Arctic. But we must go forward “

On Friday, September 22, the building of the first serial universal nuclear icebreaker LK-60YA “Siberia” was launched at the Baltic plant in St. Petersburg. On the same day, the first steam turbine, which will be part of the propulsion system, was delivered to the main nuclear icebreaker Arktika. These two events on the air of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda we discussed with the famous Arctic explorer …

– Arthur Nikolayevich, these days they are talking about two icebreakers – “Siberia” and “Arctic” … Why? Just a coincidence? Or is the task set to accelerate in this direction?

– Everything goes according to plan. I am very glad that the government fulfills its obligations. The Baltic Shipyard also performs the obligations.

And this event – the descent of the icebreaker “Siberia” – is especially pleasant for me, because 30 years ago I was on the “Siberia” (on the one, on the old one), who was the head of the expedition, which reached the North Pole in surface navigation.

“Also in August?”

– In August – other ice conditions. And we went in May.

– But on the new nuclear icebreaker “Arctic” – there is some delay coming, yes, with the installation of equipment?

“I do not particularly follow this.” I think everything goes according to plan.

The world’s most powerful nuclear icebreaker, Siberia, was launched in St. Petersburg. The dimensions of the ship are impressive: its length is 173 meters, width is 34 meters, and displacement is 33.5 thousand tons Photo: Alexander Glouces
The world’s most powerful nuclear icebreaker, Siberia, was launched in St. Petersburg. The dimensions of the ship are impressive: its length is 173 meters, width is 34 meters, and displacement is 33.5 thousand tons
Photo: ALEXANDER Gluz
– If you were asked to explain to the student why this very important event – launching the universal icebreaker “Siberia” – what would you say?

“And he would say that Russia is growing in arctic territories, in the Arctic economy.” And in order to ensure this, the route of the Northern Sea Route works. And in order to be able to walk on this route – safely and safely – ships, we need an atomic icebreaker fleet that spends these ships and makes a channel in the ice for delivery of everything necessary to ensure the development of the economy of the Far North.

– Vladimir Putin speaks, first of all, of strengthening the positions of the Russian Federation – as a great maritime power, in connection with these events. It means the launching of the “Arctic”.

– I fully agree with Vladimir Vladimirovich.

– Would you also put it first in importance?

– For the polar explorer, for the researcher, for the patriot – this is the most important thing.

Arthur Chilingarov – about “Siberia” and “Arctic” …

– How then does this relate to your words … When last August we celebrated 40 years of the “Arctic” achievement, which for the first time in the world reached the North Pole, you said that we have gone so far ahead that no one will ever catch up with us.

“We are trying to catch up … But there is an industry that has been worked out, which produces wonderful icebreakers, – the Russian shipbuilding industry. This is our naval power and sea pride is polar. And in order to continue this way and continue – not in words, but in deeds – we need to look forward. And the new atomic icebreaker is a good continuation of the Arctic theme.

– The new “Arctic” in 2019 will be put into operation. It will be the largest and most powerful icebreaker in the world. Russia is now in the Arctic No. 1. Is there anyone to compete with? Who is the No. 2?

– The icebreaking fleet has both Canada and the United States. It also exists in other Arctic states. There are ships with an ice belt. But most actively China – recently their icebreaker reached the point of the North Pole in surface swimming. China is following us.

– Why do we help them build icebreakers? You are holding symposia in the Arctic …

– Everything that is carried out is in the interests of our state. It is called international cooperation. It will not harm our country.

– And – your appeal to those who today marks the launch of the “Siberia”.

“Seven feet under the keel!”

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