The Cabinet of Ministers has allocated UAH 252 million for the purchase of an ice class vessel for the study of Antarctica and the World Ocean. The Ministry of Education and Science has said this in a statement, Ukrainian News Agency reports. “This is a big victory for us. The acquisition of a ship of this class in Ukraine will allow us to be more independent in the exploration of the World Ocean, which, on an equal footing with space exploration, is now one of the priorities of the world science,” Minister of Education and Science, Hanna Novosad, said. She added that the Ministry is completing the preparation of the polar research program of Ukraine for 2021-2030. It is expected that the agreement on the acquisition of the vessel will be concluded before the end of 2019, and in 2020 it will take its first access to the ocean under the Ukrainian flag. According to the head of the National Antarctic Scientific Center of the Ministry of Education, Yevhen Dykyi, since the end of the 20th century Ukraine has not had vessels of the required class that would allow research in the World Ocean and support Antarctic research at the Akademik Vernadskyi station. To service the Akademik Vernadskyi station, Ukraine annually charters foreign vessels, and marine research has not been conducted at all for a long time. According to Dykyi, buying of own ship and restoring scientific flights significantly enhances the scientific capabilities of Ukraine and allows to create logistics consortia with countries that have their own polar stations, but do not have their own fleet. Restoring flights is also relevant from the point of view of politics and economics, because Ukraine has international obligations to study the Southern Ocean. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, in March 2018, the Ministry of Education allocated UAH 15 million for the repair of the Ukrainian Antarctic station Akademik Vernadskyi. In 2017, then Minister of Education and Science, Liliya Hrynevych, stated that USD 2 million is needed to purchase a research vessel to support the operation of the Akademik Vernadskyi Antarctic station.