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Vladimir Litvinenko spoke at a meeting of the President’s council on science and education

Путин и Литвиненко
Фото © tass.ru

On the Day of Russian Science, the rector of St. Petersburg Mining University emphasized that the research, which is conducted at Russian universities, should be aimed primarily at solving strategic and tactical state problems. At the same time, it is the state, represented by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, that should become their customer.

On Monday, February 8, there was a meeting of the Council of Science and Education headed by Vladimir Putin. The participants discussed the issues related to “the formation of competitive conditions for successful technological development of the country.” This includes the creation of scientific infrastructure, which will allow to solve unique research tasks.

Vladimir Litvinenko noted that domestic mineral resources complex, rich reserves of oil, gas and other minerals, which lie in our subsoil, is a serious geopolitical tool. It is a competitive advantage that must be protected. Especially today, when attempts are being made in the West to discredit hydrocarbons, to present them as some kind of cave fuel that destroys the planet. And to intensify in this regard the so-called energy transition, to which the vast majority of countries in the world today are simply not ready due to their economic peculiarities.

"We are told that the human impact on the environment is the main and almost the only factor of climate change. They say that the Antarctic ice sheet is unstable, and if humanity continues to use oil and gas, it will be destroyed, leading to a significant rise in sea levels. But is this really the case? Could it be that post-industrial states simply want to reduce their dependence on importers of raw materials and exaggerate the degree of danger for the planet, involving developing countries in an extremely unprofitable for them economically energy transition? We can find out the exact answer to this question by examining ice cores from the well (5G, i.e., the fifth deepest well - ed.) drilled above the sub-glacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica," Litvinenko emphasized.

Антарктида
Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад /

Indeed, the cover of the White Continent is composed of so-called atmospheric ice, which was formed from solid precipitation - snow crystals falling in solid form from the sky. Due to the constant subzero temperatures, they do not melt, which means that year after year they accumulate, compact into firn, and then turn into ice, which gradually spreads from the center of the continent to its edges.

It is not hard to understand that the ice lying on the surface is modern, and the lower and the lower layers are older. And if, for example, to get a core from a depth of 3200 meters, its age will be between 400 and 430 thousand years. In laboratory conditions it is possible to study in detail its gas and isotopic composition and find out what events took place at the time of its formation in the Earth's atmosphere and what consequences they led to (we are talking about a large emission of volcanic ash, for example). And then, on the basis of the results, we can simulate the consequences of current trends in the development of the fuel and energy complex.

"Novatek has allocated more than 7 billion rubles only to support research in Antarctica. Private donors, such as the shareholders of PhosAgro, fund research at the expense of their dividends. Khazret Sovmen, the former head of the Republic of Adygeya and the gold-mining company Polyus, allocated personal funds to 62 grants for young scientists of St. Petersburg Mining University. So private public companies, which are the backbone of our economy, understand their mission. Mr. President, you yourself have done a lot for investors to come to science. But the Vostok station is a particularly important site, and the penetration by Mining University's drillers into the sub-glacial lake of the same name, which lies at a depth of over three kilometers and seven hundred meters, is undeniable proof of our scientific superiority. After all, they have not yet been able to repeat it in the West. In this regard, I would like to ask you to provide funding for research in Antarctica with a separate line item. Now it has been united with the Arctic. And officials of the Ministry of Nature Protection sometimes even confuse these two regions. So we have to tell them the children's joke about a bear and a penguin", summed up Vladimir Litvinenko

Антарктида
Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад /

Let us remind that drilling wells to study the processes associated with climate change began at Vostok station back in 1970. All the necessary equipment for this was created by scientists of the Leningrad Mining Institute (now St. Petersburg Mining University) under the leadership of Boris Kudryashov, who was the author of the theory of rock drilling by fusion, as well as thermal and mechanical destruction of ice. Construction of the current well 5G (the fifth deep well), which was supposed to result specifically in penetration into the lake, began in 1990.