Supported by 'extreme' tourism, Russia's Arctic Stations still out front in research

Russia continues to lead the way in Arctic research, Artur Chilingarov, president of the Polar Association, told an Interfax press conference here devoted to Russia's SP-32 Arctic base, a Rosbalt correspondent reported Thursday. Chilingarov said Russia alone has the experience and technology capable of maintaining year-round floating stations in the Arctic. 'Although Russian research virtually stopped in the 1990s and other countries active in the field began catching up, that situation has changed for the better in recent years,' he said, citing SP-32 as an example. He noted, however, that Russia's Arctic researchers depend on earnings from so-called 'extreme tourists.' Many Russian research stations, he said, can exist only because of their parallel use as tourism bases.

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