Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaking ship Rossiya set out on an Arctic expedition from the northern port of Murmansk on Saturday.
A brass band played a march as the ship started out of the port.
The expedition, led by the president's envoy to the Arctic and Antarctic, Artur Chilingarov, will deliver a drifting research station onto an ice floe to carry out a study on the Arctic's water area and climate conditions.
RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Stelliferovsky is taking part in the expedition.
Russia and other countries with an Arctic coastline are laying claims to the region's sea floor, said to contain one quarter of the world's mineral resources. The untapped riches are becoming more accessible due to melting ice.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a recent international conference in Moscow that the Arctic would not become a battleground as potential territory disputes could be resolved through negotiation.
MURMANSK, October 2 (RIA Novosti)