Russia again will make an application to the UN to expand its Arctic shelf

Russia again will make an application to the UN to expand its Arctic shelf

The UN, on 9 February. /Corr. Oleg Zelenin/. Russia will present on Tuesday at the UN revised the application for the extension of the limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic ocean. A presentation for the members of the UN Commission on the limits of the continental shelf, which holds 40th session, will be presented by the Minister of natural resources and ecology Sergey Donskoy.

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On the eve of a trip to new York he said that Russia has all chances to achieve a positive result. At the same time, he urged not to wait for the imminent decision in view of the fact that Russia claims to be a huge area of seabed with a total area of more than 1 million square km “Application we have the largest. Materials very much” – said the Minister in an interview with NTV. In his words, “some experts in the UN Commission already skeptical about” on the documents provided. “Our task is to prove. Today, we have well-prepared material with which to work and which can be proven. We will actively do,” said don.

On that claim Russia

Russia applied to the UN Commission on the limits of the continental shelf on 3 August 2015. The plans of Russia’s accession to the Lomonosov ridge and other areas of the seabed, including depression Submariners, the Mendeleev, the southern end of the Gakkel ridge and the zone of the North pole. At the lowest estimates, this will allow to increase potential hydrocarbon reserves by 5 billion tons of conditional fuel.

The United Nations Convention on the law of the sea allows you to expand economic area States, provided that the seabed beyond its borders is a natural extension of the margin. By default the limits of the shelf belonging to the state, set within 200 nautical miles.

The second attempt

Russia has already tried to defend their right to the enclave in the Arctic ocean in 2001. Subsequently, the application of the Russian Federation, which also included land in the sea of Okhotsk, was rejected by the UN Commission. The experts concluded that the submitted information insufficient for classification specified in the application areas as Russian continental shelf.

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After that it was decided to seek accession of territories in the Arctic, in the sea of Okhotsk separately. This approach has already brought success – in March 2014, the Board granted the claims of Russia relating to the area of the continental shelf in the Okhotsk sea area of 50 thousand sq. km.

At the same time the Russian Federation has conducted in-depth geological studies to prepare a revised proposal on site in the Arctic ocean. In 2005-2014 was carried out seven expeditions on a scientific vessel “Akademik Fedorov”, which was carried out seismic studies, collected samples of bottom sediments from a depth of several kilometers.

In August 2007, in the Northern polar region has undertaken a unique scientific experiment. Russian oceanographers and polar researchers using deep-diving vehicles “Mir” for the first time in the history of scientific development in the Arctic sank to the bottom of the Arctic ocean at a depth of more than four thousand meters. Scientists took samples of soil and water, conducted a photo – and filming, but also found on the ocean floor by the Russian tricolor from a titanium alloy.

Northern competitors

A seabed area of over 1 million square km is unlikely to get to Russia without a fight. In mineral-rich territory in the Arctic ocean, in the depths of which contain more than billion tons of conditional fuel, is also claimed by Denmark, Canada, Norway and the USA. However, the United States is the only player in the Arctic, which has not ratified the UN Convention on the law of the sea, and therefore has no right to apply to the UN Commission.

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The history of the Russian Arctic. Dossier

The first country to defend their rights on the issue of extension of the Arctic shelf, was Norway. Its application for the extension of the exclusive economic zone 235 thousand sq km in parts of the Arctic ocean, the Norwegian sea and the Barents sea was approved by the Commission in April 2009 as a result of the border of the Norwegian shelf is now only 600 miles from the North pole.

Still, the basic competitor of Russia today is Denmark, December 15, 2014 filed your own application, including the Lomonosov ridge claimed by Russia. According to the Danish hypothesis, it is a sunken part of Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom.

Given the fact that both Russia and Denmark are claiming the Lomonosov ridge, between countries is cooperation on this issue. If experts of the UN Commission comes to the conclusion that on the ridge, from a scientific point of view, can claim both States, the question of demarcation will be resolved through bilateral negotiations based on international law.

Canada joined the Convention in 2003, also lays claim to the Lomonosov ridge, except that it begins with the American continent. 6 December 2013, Canada filed a request for extension of the continental shelf in the Atlantic ocean, at the same time notified the UN Commission that later will present a proposal for the extension of the boundaries of the Arctic shelf.


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