ON BOARD THE ROSSIYA ICE BREAKER, September 25 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker has arrived in the Arctic to help Russian polar explorers set up a new drifting station, RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
The Rossiya icebreaker arrived on Saturday at the location of the current SP-38 polar station, where the scientists are dismantling equipment and preparing their mobile polar huts for a transfer to a new drifting station.
Members of the new expedition continued the search for a suitable ice field to host the SP-39 drifting station. Scientists have not been satisfied with the condition of the ice floe so far due to increased melting of ice in the region.
The icebreaker is providing a helicopter to expand the search radius.
After helping the polar explorers to set up the SP-39 station, the icebreaker will bring members of the SP-38 expedition, who spent almost a year on drifting Arctic ice, and part of the scientific equipment back to Russia.
Members of the new Arctic expedition will continue polar studies and the work to gather more scientific evidence to reinforce Russia's claims to the Arctic, which Moscow regards as a "strategic economic asset."
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Earlier this month, Russia hosted the Fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council at Naryan-Mar, a seaport in the Barents Sea, to discuss issues relating to the infrastructure and safety of ships passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR).