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Russian Geographical Society and Russia’s Navy to cooperate in Arctic studies

The agreement between the Navy and the Russian Geographical Society must help fulfill this plan, Chistyakov said

ST PETERSBURG, November 5 (Itar-Tass) - The Arctic studies will be one of the most important trends of cooperation between Russia’s Navy and the Russian Geographic Society, Kirill Chistyakov, the society’s vice president, said on Tuesday at the ceremony of signing the agreement of the sides on interaction in organizing expeditions to study the world ocean.

Chistyakov believes high-tech potentials of the Navy will be the basis of cooperation. For instance, a Losharik underwater craft of the Navy was lowered last summer to the Lomonosov ridge in the Arctic Ocean to take rock samples.

“The bathyscaph can function up to six kilometers depth,” Chistyakov said. “The military make training dives and also bring scientific materials,” he said.

The possibility of the development of the Arctic shelf, he noted, depends on getting reliable scientific data not only about the shelf but also about the structure of the Arctic Ocean floor and of the entire Arctic zone - the shelf, the coastal area, the area of the deltas of the great Siberian rivers.

This information can only be received by field studies. Space studies can only specify the outlines of geographic objects, Chistyakov said.

Another important matter is making the forecast how the Arctic climate will be changing. There should be a rise of a few more tenths of a degree in the average annual Arctic temperature for the development of minerals in the Arctic to be profitable, Chistyakov said.

A long-term forecast is needed for industrial development of the territories - what will happen in ten years, in 20 years, in 30 years, otherwise investment into the infrastructure will be pointless, he said.

The forecast depends on field studies of ice condition and the causes of its change. The data of field studies should be analysed and used for long-term planning of economic activity.

This is a matter not only of hydrocarbons, but also of other resources, for instance, rare earth metals. Russia sets itself an ambitious aim to increase the output of rare earth metals and to assume the leading position in high-tech production.

The agreement between the Navy and the Russian Geographical Society must help fulfill this plan, Chistyakov said.