The statement by US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Washington’s intent to challenge Russia in the Arctic is fraught with consequences for the region, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated during Wednesday’s press briefing.
On May 22, Bolton stated that the US aims to expand the number of icebreakers in the Arctic in order to "challenge growing Russian military influence" in the region, TASS reports.
According to Zakharova, "such an approach is fraught with unfavorable consequences for the region’s countries and for its development on the whole." She also noted that such statements point towards the changing policy of the USA in this region. "The prevailing policy has become the region’s transformation into a theater of war, and, to our understanding, the escalation of tensions," the diplomat said.
Currently, the US is in possession of a heavy icebreaker Polar Star constructed in 1976 and a medium icebreaker Healy, used by the US Coast Guard since 2000. According to the US Coast Guard’s website, three more icebreakers are currently under development, with the first one to be commissioned by 2023.