A joint team from the United States and the Russian Federation concluded a 10-day inspection of foreign research stations, installations and equipment in Antarctica on December 8, 2012. The team inspected the following stations: Bharati (India), Maitri (India), Princess Elisabeth (Belgium), Syowa (Japan), Troll (Norway) and Zhongshan (China). The United States appreciates the assistance provided by the personnel at all of the visited stations.
The joint inspection was conducted pursuant to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and its Environmental Protocol, and was designed to review compliance with Antarctic Treaty system rules and regulations. This included verification that the stations are implementing relevant environmental rules and that facilities are used only for peaceful purposes -- honoring the Treaty’s prohibition on measures of a military nature. This inspection effort was facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Antarctica signed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov on September 8, 2012.
Officials from the U.S. Department of State and the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the inspection, which is the second phase of a two-phase process. A report will be jointly presented by the United States and Russia at the next Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, in May 2013.
The United States and Russia were architects of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and today conduct some of the most extensive and diverse scientific activities in Antarctica. Working closely with our Russian counterparts provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce our shared objectives for the peaceful use of Antarctica - and further expands our diplomatic cooperation.
For further information on the United States and Antarctica, visit http://www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/rpts/ant/ & http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/194336.pdf.