Nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya will leave the port of Murmansk on Tuesday to accompany research vessel Academician Fyodorov on a second mission to determine the boundaries of Russia's continental shelf in the Arctic.
Russia is still in a dispute with Canada over the Lomonosov Ridge, with both countries trying to persuade a UN commission that it is an extension of its own continental shelf. The sides have agreed that scientific evidence should resolve the dispute.
"The Rossiya icebreaker will accompany the research ship during the entire length of the expedition to ensure the consistency of the vessel's speed, which is crucial for precise measurements," said Yekaterina Ananyeva, spokesperson for Rosatomflot.
The main goal of the two-month-long expedition is to measure the thickness of the bottom silt along the Lomonosov Ridge as part of the evidence that supports Russia's territorial claim.
The settlement of the dispute in Russia's favor will give the country the right to develop vast energy resources on the Arctic shelf.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated last week that Russia will not backtrack on its territorial claims on the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges in the Arctic region and will protect its geopolitical interests "firmly and consistently."
Russia sent the first expedition on a similar mission last year, when Academician Fyodorov was accompanied by the Yamal nuclear icebreaker.