Russia will hand over its Antarctic station “Gora Vechernyay” to Belarus. The terms will be fixed by the end of H1 2008, the chief of the republican centre of polar research, Oleg Smorchkov, told BelTA.
Belarus has prepared an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation of the two countries in Antarctica and sent it to Russia for approval. The document commits the two sides to provide mutual logistic assistance and to exchange information in the course of Antarctic expeditions. The agreement will fix the terms of handing over to Belarus of Russian Antarctic field station “Gora Vechernyaya”. “So far it is not clear whether the station will be sold or leased; whether it will be at Belarus’ disposals or whether Russia will allocate some premises of the station,” he said. All these issues will be solved only after the Belarus-Russia intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in Antarctica is signed.
Oleg Smorchkov said that the Nature Ministry of Belarus has asked Russia to speed up the work on the document. “We hope Russia will respond to our request and all issues will be coordinated in the near future,” he added.