The coast guard of the United States refused to conduct exercises in the Arctic because of fears that the only heavy US icebreaker may fail, and then have to seek help from Russia.
About it writes the American portal Business Insider. The icebreaker Polar Star is more than 40 years old, and the ship literally “clings to life”, as the former commander of the US coast guard Admiral Paul Zukunft knew well, the newspaper writes. When the national Security Council asked him to send an icebreaker through the Northern sea route as part of the exercise on freedom of navigation, Tsukunft refused.
According to him, experts are forced to use parts from the same type of ship only for “this thing worked” – quoted by RIA Novosti. “I can not guarantee that there will be no serious technical failures during the exercises, and then I would have to turn to Russia to tow the icebreaker to a safe place, but now is not the time to do it,” – argued his refusal Zukunft.
The article does not specify the dates of the exercises. We only know that the former commander of the coast guard told about the refusal of it in early December.
Business Insider emphasizes that in the struggle for the Arctic, Washington is experiencing great problems and the main one: the lack of icebreakers, which is especially noticeable against the background of Russia. The publication notes that Moscow has dozens of icebreakers, and the US has only two, and only Polar Star is a heavy type, able to work in the Arctic.
Earlier, The Hill’s columnist Rafael Bernal expressed the opinion that after the demand of the American leader Donald Trump to allocate five billion dollars for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, the plans to increase the US presence in the Arctic can be forgotten.