A brief history: The Republic of Belarus joined the Antarctic Treaty in 2006 and, in that same year, approved the National program for Polar research which is called “Monitoring of Earth’s Polar areas” ensuring activity of the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions for 2007-2010 and for the period until 2015. Soon after, in 2008, it ratified the Environmental Protocol.
In 2015, the National Antarctic Program of the Republic of Belarus was accepted as the 30th Member of COMNAP and Belarus did receive a residence permit in the Antarctic.
According to the head of the Belarusian Antarctic Expedition Alexey Gaydashov, research vessel Akademik Fedorov approached the icy continent at the end of December 2016.
On December 27-29th, 2016 personnel, material support and structures of the Belarusian Antarctic Station were successfully delivered by air transport from the ship to the location of the Belarusian expedition at Mount Vechernyaya, Enderby Land, East Antarctica. At the end of January 2016, the first portion of the national research station, a three-section module for control, communication and navigation, was assembled in Antarctica at a geographic position of 67°39” South, 46°09’ East.
The main principles of activity of the Republic of Belarus in Antarctica are a system approach to the creation of the national Antarctic infrastructure and the organization of research, orientation of works for integration to international research programs, development of international cooperation in order to strengthen the Antarctic Treaty System, as well as development, consideration and recommendation to their Government of actions assisting in realization of principles and objects of the Antarctic Treaty.
The deployment of the Belarusian Antarctic station is part of a subprogram of the government program on new and high technologies and machines in 2016-2020. The subprogram provides for monitoring polar regions of the Earth, creating the Belarusian Antarctic Station, and enabling the operation of polar expeditions.
On last January 6th 2017, Belarusian polar explorers have assembled part of the second structure of the Belarusian Antarctic Station. The works are not completed yet, but now , Belorussians intend to erect a chapel at Vechernyaya Station, as they plan to open their B ase in Antarctica by this year.