U.S President Barack Obama called for funding the construction of new Coast Guard icebreakers on the second day of his visit to Alaska.
According to the White House, the call for the building of the specialized ships comes as part of new investments to enhance safety and security in the changing Arctic.
A Congressional Research Service report that has been announced lately estimated that a new polar icebreaker could cost around $900 million to $1 billion, which means those investments could be substantial for the United States.
The briefing says that the White House Administration "will propose to accelerate acquisition of a replacement heavy icebreaker to 2020 from 2022, begin planning for construction of additional icebreakers, and call on Congress to work with the Administration to provide sufficient resources to fund these critical investments. These heavy icebreakers will ensure that the United States can meet our national interests, protect and manage our natural resources, and strengthen our international, state, local, and tribal relationships."
Furthermore was mentioned the fact that Russia has forty operational icebreakers and another eleven planned or under construction.
President Obama will also call for stepping up the American scientific research in the Arctic "to increase our understanding of this vital region."
"The growth of human activity in the Arctic region will require highly engaged stewardship to maintain the open seas necessary for global commerce and scientific research, allow for search and rescue activities, and provide for regional peace and stability," the White House said in a statement.