On August 26, 2021, an online ceremony was held to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the A. V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology FEB RAS and the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa, India. The Memorandum formalizes the intentions of the two parties to cooperate in the field of marine biology and marine ecology and conservation in the Indian Ocean region, Pacific and Arctic regions.

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The ceremony was opened by Prof. Inessa Dyuizen, Director of the NSCMB FEB RAS. In her welcome speech she pointed out that the National Scientific Center of Marine Biology had a long history of international cooperation with academic institutions and universities of Europe and Asia but it was the first time that an international agreement had been signed with a research institution from India. Prof. Dyuizen also mentioned that the NSCMB welcomed the development of international ties, based on the principle of equality among all participants, and that following that principle, the Center had been conducting joint Russian-German cruises to investigate the deep-sea fauna in the northern Pacific since 2010.

In his speech of response, Director of the CSIR-NIO, Prof. Sunil Kumar Singh noted that the institute he heads was interested in collaborative studies including performing marine research cruises.

The online signing ceremony was attended by staff scientists of the NSCMB FEB RAS and the CSIR-NIO. Prior to the Memorandum being signed, a number of virtual meetings were held to exchange scientific data with Indian colleagues. In the course of these meetings the concerned researchers of both parties introduced themselves and described their areas of expertise and ongoing studies.

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The signed Memorandum lays groundwork for joint scientific work of Indian and Russian researchers and intends to encourage activities for the advancement of basic and applied scientific research in the fields of marine biology, ecology and ecosystem dynamics, microbiota, study of deep-sea ecosystems and related sciences.

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The international bilateral relations were established under the auspices of the Embassy of India in Moscow. The arrangements for the negotiations were heavily contributed to by Dr. Shishir Shrotriya, Counsellor for Science and Technology.

The arrangements for signing the Memorandum and running the online ceremony were made with participation of staff members of the International Cooperation Department at the NSCMB FEB RAS: Dr. Konstantin Lutaenko, Dr. Vadim Serkov and Anastasiya Grishina.