Goodbye Arctic? Washington Has No Funds to Compete with Russia

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WASHINGTON DC, The United States – After US President Donald Trump has demanded to invest $5 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border, plans to increase the US presence in the Arctic may be forgotten, said the American journalist Rafael Bernal.

Previously, the bill on appropriations in the area of ​​internal security included the construction of a new icebreaker for the US Army in the amount of US $750 million. However, this point was excluded from the document at the initiative of some lawmakers, notes the Hill columnist .

Since US budget funds are spent in other spheres, Washington will not be able to expand its presence in the Arctic, says Bernal.

According to the journalist, due to the reduction of the thickness of the ice sheet in the Arctic region, there are opportunities to develop new deposits and “open new commercial sea routes”.

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Speaking about the current presence in the Arctic, the columnist indicated that Russia has 40 icebreakers, while the United States has only two. One is medium-sized, and the other – the Polar Star, is a heavy icebreaker, whose shelf life expired 12 years ago.

As the observer points out, US Coast Guard commander Karl Schulz has previously admitted that if Washington does not control the situation in the Arctic today, tomorrow it will be controlled by US rivals.

However, Trump “supports the adoption of a new version of the bill that plans to spend $5 billion in budget funds to build a wall in the southwest Mexico,” concluded Bernal.

According to experts, the Arctic subsoil contains reserves of nearly 10 billion tonnes of oil (about 83 billion barrels) and about 1.55 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. In addition, the Arctic is rich in platinum and rare metals, copper-nickel ores, tantalum, niobium, gold and diamonds. However, the study of the Arctic platform is extremely uneven, so dozens of new deposits of solid minerals can still be discovered in this region.

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