The diesel-electric icebreaker Kapitan Darnitsyn left the port of Murmansk Friday night for the expedition, RIA Novosti reported Saturday.
The vessel is first heading to Kirkenes, Norway, to meet up with the Russian diesel ice-breaker Dikson. The two icebreakers will then head to the Arctic Ocean together Monday.
Once in the Arctic Ocean, the vessels will begin researching the high-latitude boundaries of Mendeleev Ridge to determine whether it is a continuation of Russia's continental shelf, the report said. If the ridge is part of the continental shelf, Russia will obtain the priority right to develop its natural resources.
The expedition is expected to take about two months.