Russia's Nuclear Powered Icebreakers - The Hindu - 26/11/22

Recently, Russia touted its Arctic power at a flag-raising ceremony and dock launch for two nuclear-powered icebreakers that will ensure year-round navigation in the Western Arctic.
GS3 - Environmental Degradation
Significance of the Russian Icebreakers
-Strengthen Russia’s Status as a Great Arctic power
-Studying Arctic Region
-Cut Down Time to Reach Asia

Significance of the Arctic Region
-The Arctic region has rich deposits of coal, gypsum and diamonds and also substantial reserves of zinc, lead, placer gold and quartz. Greenland alone possesses about a quarter of the world's rare earth reserves.
-The Arctic helps circulate the world's ocean currents, moving cold and warm water around the globe.
-The Arctic is taking on greater strategic significance due to climate change, as a shrinking ice cap opens up new sea lanes.
-The Arctic meltdown is helping the scientific community to better understand the glacial melt in the Himalayas, which has often been referred to as the ‘third pole’ and has the largest freshwater reserves after the North and South poles.

Since 2007, India has an Arctic research programme with as many as 13 expeditions undertaken till date.
In March 2022, India unveiled its first Arctic policy titled: ‘India and the Arctic: building a partnership for sustainable development’.
India is also one of the 13 Observers in the Arctic Council, the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.

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