INDIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ST. PETERSBURG

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ST. PETERSBURG, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Indian president, currently on a visit to Russia, will start his tour of St. Petersburg with Hermitage, a major art treasure of the world. Abdul Kalam will walk around the famous museum and attend an exhibition, called "Indian Art, 1st Century B.C.-19th Century." Abdul Kalam came from Moscow today on an informal visit to St. Petersburg. While in St. Petersburg, the Indian president will visit the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Russian hydrometeorological center. According to the spokesmen for the institute, senior researchers will brief the Indian president on the prospects of Russian-Indian cooperation in Antarctic exploration.

Russian and Indian polar explorers are working in the Antarctic at the Schirmacher oasis where the Indian Maitri and the Russian Novolazarevskaya stations are located three kilometers from each other.

India today has more than 75 laboratories and groups in charge of Antarctic research. A new research center works out models of polar climate.

According to the Russian hydrometerological center, Russian and Indian researchers have formulated 13 joint research projects.

Kalam's trip to St. Petersburg will also include a visit to the Institute of Laser Equipment and Technology, and to the Laser Systems company.

On Wednesday night, the president will fly to Geneva.

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