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Artur Chilingarov said the Russian president supported world ocean and polar research
The leader of the recent expedition to the North Pole, Artur Chilingarov, said the Russian president supported world ocean and polar research. "At a meeting with the president on Tuesday, we felt that Russian research in the world ocean and the North Pole would be given all kinds of support on the part of the state," Chilingarov told a news conference at Itar-Tass on Wednesday. "I'm happy that the state has an interest in all this research; we've already talked about the expedition with First Deputy Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, and chairman of the Maritime Board under the government Sergei Ivanov; they wish us success from the bottom of their hearts," Chilingarov said. "We'll certainly report on the results of the expedition to the Maritime Board; and we have to support in all ways the development of the laboratory led by designer of deepwater submersibles "Mir" Anatoly Sagalevich," he added. "We should prove to the world community our rights to the arctic shelf and scientific-technical superiority with painstaking work," Chilingarov said. In the course of the expedition to the North Pole, "we proved it was possible to dive to seabed /to a depth of more than four kilometers/ and surface, and "the task is to determine the borders of the Russian shelf in the Arctic region - a task of state significance," the head of the expedition went on to say. Chilingarov, special presidential representative for the International Polar Year and a deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament, admitted he had written a few lines to his family before getting into the submersible and going down to a four-kilometer depth. "I knew perfectly well how difficult it was to come from under the ice at the pole," he explained, and the diving itself was an awfully risky operation." "We were to all seas and oceans, but we always had clear water when we were surfacing. The conditions for Mir surfacing were ten-point ice and a small ice-hole," he went on to say. "A very tight coordination between all services was needed, and much depended not on ht people, but on nature," he added. "Now it's up to science, the Academy of Sciences," the lawmaker noted. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the results of the expedition to the North Pole by Russian explorers should make the groundwork of Russia's position in the issue of ownership of this part of the shelf. Putin said so at a meeting with Artur Chilingarov and Anatoly Sagalevich on Tuesday. “As concerns the extension of our shelf, this should certainly be discussed with colleagues, and this should be proved in international organizations. It is necessary that the results of our expedition are made a basis of Russia’s position in solving these problems,” he said. He congratulated the expedition members on its successful completion and prominent results. “The work was very interesting, responsible, important for the country and unsafe,” the president said. “This is a major success for science and for people who attend to it,” he said. The president said the expedition was actually international. Chilingarov said specialists from other countries had taken part in it, but as part of the Russian expedition. Earlier this month, two Russian mini-submarines dived to a depth of over 4,000 meters at the North Pole. Russia says it has strong scientific grounds to the theory that the Lomonosov Ridge extending from the New Siberian Islands in the East of the Laptev Sea towards the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a submerged geological extension of the Siberian platform and, consequently, is part of the Russian continental shelf.
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