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Russian Federation national flag raised on icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin

November 3, 2020, St Petersburg

The President of Russia attended the flag raising ceremony on the open sea diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The Viktor Chernomyrdin, of the Icebreaker8 ice class, is the world’s largest diesel-electric icebreaker and is capable of operating in open seas through ice up to two metres thick. It has two helipads and is equipped not only to lead vessels through ice but can also be used for research expeditions and can transport containers and hazardous cargo.

The President inspected the vessel’s bridge and controls and viewed information stands on the future development of the Baltic logistics systems.

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Statement at the flag raising ceremony aboard the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, Mr Trukhanovich,

This is a difficult time for all of us, as we say every day. But pandemic or no pandemic, life must go on, and we are moving forward without postponing our plans, as we have noted on several occasions.

Today we are attending a very pleasant and important event, actually a landmark event. The national flag of the Russian Federation has just been raised on a new open sea diesel-electric icebreaker, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker of this class, which was named after our outstanding compatriot, Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Today we are commemorating this great person. Viktor Chernomyrdin passed away exactly 10 years ago. It can be said without exaggeration that he was a statesman and a politician on a history-making scale, a bright and strong man, a hard worker and a creative person. He never shied away from responsibility and did a good job, serving the nation in everything he did.

It should be said that is was largely thanks to his balanced and far-sighted approach and his sound stewardship that the human and technological potential of our industry, the fuel and energy sector and other industrial sectors were maintained in the extremely difficult period of the 1990s.

In general, he was a workaholic. I can personally testify to this, as I watched him work and learned a great deal from him. He was endlessly loyal to our country.

It is therefore symbolic that this modern and well-equipped icebreaker, which was named after him, was built by Russian shipbuilders at Russian shipyards. I would like to use this occasion to once again express our gratitude to all those who contributed to building it.

Thanks to you, the Russian icebreaker fleet has received a powerful vessel of a high ice class. These specifications allow us to use it for a variety of jobs but primarily to ensure navigation in the Gulf of Finland and on the Northern Sea Route.

Such high-tech sea vessels that can work under low temperatures and in pack ice are especially important for Russia, a great polar power, and for implementing our strategic plans in the development of our northern regions and promising transport and logistics routes.

Friends, we have a unique icebreaker fleet, and we lead in Arctic development and research, as all of you are aware. But we must consolidate this leadership all the time and every day, by building up our position, strengthening and renewing our fleet and implementing new technology in the construction of icebreakers and other ice-class vessels.

Work is already underway on several series of diesel and nuclear-powered icebreakers, which are unmatched in the world. The future belongs to them, and I am confident that our talented shipbuilders are ready for pioneering work, for finding and implementing daring technical solutions, and I know they will certainly attain all the objectives set before the country.

I would like to wish everyone great success and, of course, productive work to the crew of the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Thank you, and good luck.

November 3, 2020, St Petersburg