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MOSCOW, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia may start financing modernization of its stations and bases in the Antarctic by 2015, Russian Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoy said on Thursday after a meeting devoted to preparing a new Antarctic exploration program.
He said that research activities in the Antarctic could be regarded as the main mechanism serving Russia’s geopolitical interests in the region.
A project of a new World Ocean federal target program, launched in 2012-2013 was coordinated and supported by most government departments concerned. It stipulated modernization of five year-round Antarctic stations and five seasonal field bases, alongside incorporated machinery and equipment. However, the program was not approved then due to the federal budget optimization.
Russia’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring was charged now with finalizing a subprogram for the organization and support of research activities in the Antarctic within the Environmental Protection state program.
“Ministries’ representatives, including the Finance Ministry, accepted the proposal of the Natural Resources Ministry and expressed their willingness to complete and approve the program within the tightest possible deadline,” Donskoy said.