Interview with Frederik Paulsen

Frederik Paulsen, a Swedish pharmaceuticals millionaire, a participant and one of the main investors in the Russian mission to the North Pole, spoke to Russia Today on the results of the expedition.

Russia Today: Everybody calls this expedition a unique one and in Russia it has already been labelled a triumph. What was so special about it in your view?

Frederik Paulsen: Well, I think that we managed to put something together which could only have been done with Russian assistance. I think there is only one country which has the necessary ice-breakers and other ships. There’s only one country which has, on top of that, the submersibles we were using. And of course, there is only one country which had the necessary manpower and, I should say, the guts to go through with all of this in one combination.

RT: Do you think Russia has managed to accomplish the main goals it had planned?

F.P.: Yes, I think we even surpassed what we were trying to do. We took all the necessary samples, we managed to get down – were the first persons to go down to the bottom of the North Pole. But what we’ve also achieved on top of that is the increased awareness of the Polar regions. The future the world is being decided at the Polar regions. So we have managed to increase the awareness, the people have become interested in this fascinating achievement.

RT: What was your favourite moment, what was your greatest impression?

F.P.: Actually the best part was coming back to Moscow. Moscow is my second home, I think here I stand with both my feet on ‘terra firma’.

RT: What was the hardest part, the most risky one?

F.P.: The most risky part of this was, without any doubt, when we were going up more than 4,000 meters, which took several hours. You can imagine that we were covered by kilometres of water and one or two meters of ice. We had to find a small hole to go through. With the help of our pilot we found it and got back to our ship. That was quite dangerous.

RT: A lot of expeditions are planned for the future. Are you planning to come back?

F.P.: Well, we are not going to go back to the North Pole. We have already planned a major expedition, in December – January 2008, to Antarctica.