Russia With Expert Support for Development of Research Station With BRICS on Svalbard

Barentsburg er ei russisk busetting på Svalbard, rundt 60 kilometer frå Longyearbyen. Det er ikkje vegforbindelse mellom dei to bygdene. Russarane har drive gruvedrift her sidan 1932.
The Russian mining company Trust Arktikugol and its tourism subsidiary, Grumant, manage the Russian settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden on Svalbard. Pictured is Barentsburg – which has a coal power plant, kindergarten, school, hospital, research center, hotel, culture and sports building, as well as a Russian consulate. (Photo: Line Nagell Ylvisåker)

Russia's company on Svalbard, Trust Arktikugol, has recently entered into a strategic partnership with a university in Arkhangelsk. The company will actively develop a research station together with the BRICS states and needs support in this work, says the director.

Trust Arktikugol wants to develop an international Arctic research station together with BRICS partners on Svalbard, stated Alexei Chekunkov, Russian Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, in early April.

BRICS is a cooperation forum for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Partly with a view to establishing such a research station, the company recently formed a strategic partnership with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk.

A cooperation agreement was signed by Director Ildar Neverov and Rector Elena Kudryashova on the 25th of April at the university's Moscow office, reports Trust Arktikugol on its website.

"The parties consider each other strategic partners and are interested in developing cooperation within education, science, and technology," writes the company and continues:

"Neverov notes that the university researchers' experience is important for projects on Spitsbergen. Trust Arktikugol is planning the active development of a multidisciplinary international research center with BRICS on the archipelago – and expert support is needed from the university in this work.

Extensive cooperation

Many, more specific fields for cooperation between the company and the university are listed.

Among these are advanced training of specialists and training of highly qualified personnel, joint research and technical scientific work, joint participation in international programs and projects – and preparation of publications based on shared research results.

In addition, there is talk of cooperation within information and communication technology, international tourism, as well as organizing scientific and technical events that promote information and sales.

Trust Arktikugol is also interested in collaborating with the 'Arctic floating university' and its expeditions – and cooperating on the organizing of summer schools, establishing internships for students, and recruiting youth to clean up Arctic territories.

Major research voyage

'The Arctic floating university' is a project from 2012 aimed to give young Arctic researchers experience with the conditions in Arctic waters through yearly expeditions – something that is organized by the mentioned university in Arkhangelsk, among others.

This year's expedition on the research vessel Professor Molchanov will take place from the 23rd of June to the 14th of July, writes the Russian news agency TASS.

The participants are 55 persons who represent 15 scientific and educational institutions in Arkhangelsk, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov, and Norilsk. They are to explore Arctic sea areas with remote-controlled underwater vessels and hydroacoustic research.

There is no further information about where the voyage will go.

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.