The Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a ride to the depths of the Black Sea as part of a Russian Geographical Society expedition.

Officially, the dive was designed to view an ancient shipwreck at the bottom of the sea.

The Russian leader was plunged 83 meters (272 feet) down in a three-seat submersiblecraft to see the remains of an ancient sunken ship found lately in the Black sea off the Coast of Crimea.

During his 45-minute long underwater trip, Putin was able to see a sunken Byzantine trading ship dated back to the 9th or 10th century.

“The galley was quite hard to see, as it was covered with 40-cm of ooze, but the ship is supposedly 27-30 meters long, and 13-15 meters wide. There are many objects, like amphorae, just scattered around there, “ he said.

In a press conference after his arrival back to the surface, Putin also mentioned that he could likely venture to the same depth alone in a diving suit but he also added that probably it would be better to leave the task to be performed by expert divers.

Russian President Putin rides submersible to bottom of Black Sea

Image: Ria Novosti

Talking on a radio from the sea depths, Putin congratulated the Russian Geographical Society on its 170th anniversary. It was founded in 1845 by Emperor Nicholas I. Now the geographical society is operating as a non-commercial organization that is engaged in expeditions, research, education, nature conservation and book publishing.

Putin also spoke to prime minister Dmitry Medvedev while still underwater, telling Medvedev that he hoped the trading ship would shed light on Russia's development.

The trip has been “a good reason to make sure once again how deep our historical roots lie, how deep our history of relations with the whole world is,” he said.