MOSCOW -- Russia has claimed a large section of the Arctic sea floor as it prepares to dive below the North Pole in mini-submarines.
The Akademik Fedorov research ship arrived Wednesday at the North Pole, RIA Novosti said.
Russia's Arctic Institute said two of the ship's Mir mini-submarines are to begin their dive on Thursday morning. The area has been made made accessible by the receding of polar ice due to global warming.
Novosti said the scientific effort is designed to prop up Russia's claim to about 460,000 square miles of the territory, which contains 25 percent of the world's oil and gas reserves.
Researchers in the mini-submarines Mir 1 and Mir 2 will leave a Russian flag and a message to future generations in a capsule, Novosti said.
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