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    ANTARCTIC ECOLOGY BANS FLOWER DELIVERIES FROM MAINLAND

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    ST. PETERSBURG, March 1. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian women working in the Antarctic will not be presented with flowers on March 8 - International Women's' Day, Russian Antarctic expedition head Valery Lukin said.

    "Mostly men work in the Antarctic. About twenty women are members of the crew and the research group of the scientific -expedition ships Akademik Fedorov and Akademik Alexander Karpinsky. Only one representative of the fair sex works on the stations: Marina Dorozhkina conducts research on the Bellinsgausen station on a par with men, Mr. Lukin said.

    In his words, congratulatory telegrams will be sent to the research vessels and the Bellinsgausen station by March 8. However, the women working in the Antarctic will not be presented with flowers. The reason lies not only in the problems in delivering flowers from the mainland. The protocol on environmental protection bans importing any biological organisms, to which plants also belong, to the Antarctic.

    The women working on board the ships will not be presented with flowers either. "The last time the ships called at ports early in February and it's just impossible to preserve flowers for such a long time", Mr. Lukin said. "Perhaps, someone grows indoor plants onboard the ships", he surmised.

    Regardless of whether there are women on the Russian Antarctic stations, a festive table is invariably laid on March 8. With the help of satellite communication, the Polar researchers can call home and congratulate their women on Women's Day.

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