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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian icebreaker to depart for Arctic Saturday

RIA Novosti

17:31 01/10/2010 MURMANSK, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya will set off on an Arctic expedition from the northern port of Murmansk on Saturday.

Rossiya will deliver a drifting research station, the Severny Polyus [North Pole] 38, to an ice floe, to carry out a study on the Arctic's water area and climate conditions, Vladimir Blinov, a spokesman for Atomflot, which operates the icebreaker, told journalists.

The entire journey is expected to take around 25 days, depending on how quickly a suitable ice floe for the research station is found.

"Five ice fields across the broad water area from Wrangel Island to the near-pole regions have been selected from satellite images for research," Blinov said.

The vast hydrocarbon deposits that will become more accessible as rising global temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice have brought the Arctic to the center of geopolitical wrangling between Russia and the other nations that border the region.

However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a recent international conference in Moscow that the Arctic would not become a battleground as potential territory disputes can be resolved through negotiation.

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