Antarctic Resque Operation Underway

On Wednesday, Mikhail Kasyanov, the Prime Minister of Russia, ordered Sergei Frank, the Minister of Transportation, to get ready Russian icebreakers for rescuing Russian Antarctic expedition stalled in ice on the Magdalena Oldendorf ship. According to the government's Department of Information, the Prime Minister has discussed the situation with Vyacheslav Martyanov, Director of Russia's Antarctic Expedition. The government has information that the situation with the Magdalena Oldendorf is serious but not critical. The Prime Minister said he hoped the situation would be taken care of and the expedition would continue.

The South African oceanographic ship S.A.Agulas is on its way to rescue the Russian expedition. It has already covered one third of the route on its way to rescue Russian antarctic explorers, who have by now spent nine days on board the ice-bound Magdalena Oldendorf.

There are 74 Russian members of the expedition and the ship's Ukrainian crew aboard the Magdalena Oldendorf The Prime Minister emphasised that the rescue action was not meant to save the lives, which were not at risk, but to make possible the continuation of the expedition's mission. However, he does not exclude the possibility the situation may deteriorate, so icebreakers stationed in the Baltic Sea and the Far East should be ready to go.

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