Indo-Russian Relations
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India, Russia in Talks For Arctic Project Comparable to International Space Station: Scientist

© Sputnik / Yuriy Lushin / Go to the mediabankArctic nuclear-powered icebreaker makes way for cargo ships
Arctic nuclear-powered icebreaker makes way for cargo ships - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2024
India and Russia have expanded their cooperation beyond the military domain, with the Arctic and space becoming two other important arenas of assistance in recent months.
India is in talks with Russia for a joint project in the Arctic, which would be as big as the International Space Station (ISS) in scientific significance.
Alexander Makarov, Director of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), told Russian media that "Russia currently has a powerful research project in the Arctic — the North Pole drifting expedition."

"Our scientists are working with the support of a unique vessel — an ice-resistant platform, which has the most modern equipment and technology for scientific work in high latitudes," Makarov said. "We invited Indian colleagues to join research, and they were very interested in it."

The scientist's comments followed his visit to the Goan city of Vasco da Gama, where he and a team from AARI held discussions with officials from India's National Centre for Polar and Oceanic Research.
He said both sides have agreed to hold regular meetings before a roadmap for future exploration in the Arctic is finalized.

"If you look at most major projects, such as the ISS or the Large Hadron Collider, they are all international," Makarov pointed out. "A similar experience can be implemented in the Arctic with the participation of our colleagues from India."

India's Growing Interest in the Arctic

The AARI director explained that India and Russia were already collaborating in Antarctica, and a similar arrangement could be made for the Arctic. While Indian scientists have studied the various facets of the Arctic for decades, a collaboration with Russia could go a long way in unearthing the hidden secrets of the region.

"The interest of Indian scientists in the Arctic has increased significantly recently, as climate change in high latitudes affects the entire planet," Makarov explained. "Changes in Arctic atmospheric circulation affect the monsoon system in India, which has significant consequences for agriculture. We note a shift in seasonality and intensity of monsoons, the appearance of heat waves, which affects the lives of Indian citizens."

Makarov stressed that he was looking at a long-term partnership between India and Russia in the Arctic.

"The natural environment needs to be constantly studied and the changes that are taking place analysed," the scientist concluded. "New scientific knowledge will help timely adapt to future climate changes and minimize possible damage. This is important and useful for all scientists in the world."

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