Russia submitted to the UN a revised application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic

Russia submitted to the UN a revised application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic


The UN, on 10 February. /Corr. Oleg Zelenin/. Russia submitted Tuesday to the UN a revised application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic ocean. A presentation for the members of the UN Commission was chaired by Minister of natural resources and environment Sergey Donskoy.

He reported that training materials for a new order lasted for more than 10 years, during which he conducted extensive research in the Arctic ocean to study the geological nature of the Mendeleev and Lomonosov ridge claimed by Russia.

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“In the period from 2002 to 2014 in the Central part of the Arctic basin was conducted 9 unique complex of geological-geophysical expeditions using research and nuclear icebreakers, and research submarines,” – said the Minister, speaking to members of the UN Commission on the limits of the continental shelf.

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 Commission. After that, the decision was made to pursue the incorporation of these territories separately. In March 2014 the claim of the Russian Federation to the area in the Okhotsk sea with an area of 52 thousand square km were granted.

As stated by Sergey Donskoy, the concept of a revised application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic has not changed. “The new application presents the same region, but with some changes – due to new supporting materials, confirming the correctness of Russia’s position”, – he noted. In particular, the revised application included areas of the southern end of the Gakkel ridge and hollow Submariners.

In addition, the plans of the Russian Federation – the joining of Lomonosov ridge and other areas of the seabed, including the Mendeleev, the Nansen basin and Amundsen. At the lowest estimates, this will allow to increase potential hydrocarbon reserves by 5 billion tons of conditional fuel. In the Ministry noted that Russia’s claims are based on scientific understanding that a Complex component of the Central Arctic are submarine elevations of the continental nature and belong to submarine elevations which are natural components of the continental margin.

Canada, Denmark and the USA are not against the consideration of the Russian submission

Canada, Denmark and the USA, claiming the annexation of territories in the Arctic do not object to the consideration of the UN Commission of the Russian application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic ocean. This was stated on Tuesday the Minister of natural resources and ecology of RF Sergey Donskoy, conducting a presentation for the members of the Commission in new York.

The Minister recalled that the members of the Commission in addition to the Russian bid has received by the UN Secretariat three notes verbales from Canada, Denmark and the USA. “None of the note verbale contains no objection to the consideration of the partial revised Russian proposal by the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf”, – said Sergey Donskoy.

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Meanwhile, he confirmed the existence of unresolved issues of delimitation of Maritime spaces in the Arctic ocean between Russia, Denmark and Canada. The Minister drew attention to the fact that areas of the continental shelf North of Greenland, listed in submitted in December 2014 application Denmark, to significantly overlap areas that were claimed by the Russian Federation. In particular, we are talking about the area of the North pole and portions of the Lomonosov ridge. It is not excluded that a similar match may be in the order of Canada, which will be filed with the Commission at a later date.

The Minister said that three countries had held consultations on this issue and reached an understanding that there was no objection within the UN for the applications to each other and to make it recommendations.

Donskoi said that Russia in 2011 had reached with Norway agreement on Maritime delimitation in the Barents sea and the Arctic ocean. In addition, the 1 June 1990 Moscow has signed an agreement with Washington on the delimitation of territories, economic zones and continental shelf in the Chukchi and Bering seas and in Arctic and Pacific oceans. The U.S. ratified the Treaty, while Russia temporarily applies from the moment of signing to date.

Interest of States in the North sea is dictated by the fact that in their interior contain 83 billion tons of conditional fuel. Of these, about 80% of the Barents and Kara seas. In this case, the probability of discovery of large new deposits of oil and gas in the virtually unexplored shelf areas is very high.