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    RUSSIAN EXPLORERS TO TAKE ACTIVE PART IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR EVENTS

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    ST. PETERSBURG, March 18. (RIA Novosti) - Russian explorers hope to take an active part in the events of the International Polar Year (2007-2008), Alexander Danilov, deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Thursday.

    "It will be the fourth polar year: the first was arranged in the 19th century and the next two in the 20th century. At the World Meteorological Congress in May 2003 Russia initiated the holding of the International Polar Year. It was established by the World Meteorological Organisation and supported by the International Council of Scientific Unions, a non-governmental organisation uniting under its aegis committees and groups doing work on polar programs in the Arctic and Antarctic," Danilov said.

    The main goal of the International Polar Year is to fix current and predict future climatic changes, prepare recommendations for governmental organs and the socio-economic complex.

    According to Danilov, it is supposed that for this period all countries interested in the exploration and development of polar regions will pool their efforts in Arctic and Antarctic studies.

    "Dozens of countries will participate in events of the International Polar Year. They are, above all, countries lying close to the Arctic and the Antarctic. Other countries, such as China, are also interested in studying these regions", said the deputy director.

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