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Russia may be left without North Pole research station for first time since 2003

March 09, 2016, 20:52 UTC+3 MURMANSK

A total of 200 million rubles ($2,800,000) are required for the station’s work

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© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MURMANSK, March 9. /TASS/. The North Pole research station may not open this year due to the lack of funding by the Ministry of Natural Resources. First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society Artur Chilingarov has asked Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to support the project, Chilingarov himself said on Wednesday.

"There is no drifting station. We may reduce our presence but have no right to leave [the region]," Chilingarov told a meeting of the presidium of the state commission for the development of the Arctic region. According to him, a total of 200 million rubles ($2,800,000) are required for the station’s work. To make sure that the station begins its work, a helicopter flight was planned for March 18 to search for a suitable ice floe for a drifting station.

The North Pole research station was first organized in 1937 under the charge of Soviet polar explorer Ivan Papanin. Such stations later worked in the central Arctic until 1991. They were reopened on an annual basis in 2003. After the completion of the station’s work in 2015 Russian Natural Resources Minister Ssergey Donskoy told TASS that "during the summer drift scientists were able to obtain really valuable data on biodiversity and climate changes in various environments."

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