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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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A daring memorial Russian-Austrian Arctic expedition will soon depart to retrace the steps of Franz Josef Land archipelago discoverers
Austria's Federal President Heinz Fischer received the travelers at the Hofburg imperial palace, Vienna, on April 18. Leading the Russian delegation was Arthur Chilingarov, Russian Arctic Study Society president and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, parliament's lower house. "I have determined to co-sponsor this research project, which may come as spectacular proof of dynamic Austrian-Russian partnership," said Herr Fischer. "The project envisages a Payer/Weyprecht Memorial Expedition 2005 to commemorate the discovery of Franz Josef Land by an Austrian-Hungarian explorer team, 130 years ago. The endeavor aims to precisely retrace their route by a group of Russian and Austrian explorers." Herr Fischer forwarded a related written message to Russia's President Vladimir Putin to point out that "the year 2005, for which the expedition is scheduled, has a tremendous historical significance to Austria. "The State Treaty has been the basis of Russo-Austrian relations for decades. Galas on its 50th signing anniversary offer a fine chance to implement the joint Arctic project, and promote implementing the treaty on research and technological cooperation, made in 1997," says the message. In a return message, President Putin greeted expedition blueprints, said Herr Fischer. The joint expedition will commemorate the discovery of Franz Josef Land by Austrian explorers Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht 130 years ago. The expedition will start, April 29, to take approximately a month, Mr. Chilingarov said to Novosti.
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