According to Reuters, Russia is establishing new infrastructure and plans major makeovers at ports as it gets ready for more traffic through the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Namely, Russia expects that the route would soon be navigable all year long.
Ural will be delivered by Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika and Sibir, start operations. With a crew of 75, the Ural will be able to cut through ice up to about 3 meters thick.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin had informed back in April, the country is now constructing icebreakers, in order to boost freight traffic along its Arctic coast. Russia aspires to enhance its position in the High North, hoping to dominate over its rivals Canada, the US, Norway, as well as China.
In fact, by 2035, Russia's Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, nine of which would be fueled by nuclear reactors.
Regarding the Northern Sea Route,, Russia hopes that it is capable of limiting sea transport times from Asia to Europe.