Obama to Call for More Icebreakers to Catch Russia in Arctic

President Barack Obama is set to call on Tuesday for the United States to buy or build more icebreakers for the Coast Guard in the Arctic Ocean to compete with Russia.

As sea ice melts because of climate change, marine traffic for mining, shipping and tourism is expected to increase in the Arctic, NBC News reported. 

The United States has only two fully functioning icebreakers in its fleet — and only one capable of heavy-duty work, the White House said. By comparison, Russia has 40 in its fleet and 11 more planned or being built.

Obama will also call for stepping up American scientific research in the Arctic "to increase our understanding of this vital region."

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