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Interview with Oleg Kozharsky

Oleg Kozharsky, a polar explorer from “Arctic” expedition center, spoke to Russia Today on the Russian Arctic expedition, which is set to prove that part of the oil and gas resources in the region belong to Russia.

Russia Today: First of all, why is this expedition so significant?

Oleg Kozharsky: I think that there are some political, economic and scientific reasons of significance. First of all, it is the scientific size of this expedition. The rights for theLomonosov |Ridge and other potentially interesting parts of the ocean floor are very attractive not only for our scientists but for science the world over. So, I think that the main importance is scientific, and also the economic side of this expedition: oil, gas and any additional resources under the Arctic Ocean.

RT: As we know, the Soviet Union and then Russia historically had a great interest in this region and we had many Polar stations in the Arctic. Now many of them are closed – why is that?

O.K.: I think primarily it is due to the historical reasons because the end of the last century was the hardest time for our country and the situation in the Arctic was strongly connected with the whole life of our country. But the situation became better over the last years. This year is the third International Polar Year and the situation has become even better and I hope that in the nearest future we will be proud of our Arctic science.

RT: Let’s get to the Arctic itself. What is so special about this region that is attracting people?

O.K.: It is not so easy to answer, but I think there are lots of reasons for different people. For someone it is money, for someone else it is pure science, for a great number of people it is the interest to the Arctic itself. We made complex expeditions during the last 25 years in the Central Arctic and the Russian Far North, and we are interested in the ecology, environment, people of the Arctic and of course, science. So, it is a kind if  history of the Arctic. A sort of pure interest in it, may I say so.