MOSCOW, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Russian scientific vessel "Academic Fedorov" bound for the Arctic Ocean set sail on Tuesday with the mission to collect supporting evidence for Russia's claims on Arctic shelf.
The crew consist of scientists from three scientific institutions and representatives from ministries of defense and natural resources.
They will explore the seabed to collect data which will be presented as part of the Russian application to the United Nations to claim its state limits on the continental Arctic shelf, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
This high-latitude expedition organized by the Arctic and Antarctic Institute will last for three months.
"Academic Fedorov" will be followed by the nuclear ice-breaker "Yamal" since the ice thickness there exceeds three meters.
Russia claims sovereignty for an area of 1.2 million square kilometers on the seabed, which is rich in oil and gas deposits. The claim is planned to be forwarded to the United Nations by 2013. In 2007, Russia symbolically planted its flag at 4,261 meters below the Northern Pole.
The United States and Canada also plan to undertake their third joint Arctic expedition in early August.