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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Russian submits new Arctic Ocean claim

(4 November 2014)

Russia plans to submit a claim to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in spring 2015, according to Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy. Russia had initially filed to extend its exclusive economic zone beyond 200 nautical miles in 2001, but the CLCS requested additional data to support the Russian claim.

Experts interviewed by RIA Novosti believe the new claim will include data to support the extension of Russian territory to the Lomososov and Medeleev Ridges, as well as the point of the North Pole. The news of the claim follows reports that Russian researchers completed seismic mapping in the Arctic in summer 2014 in the North Pole region.

Other countries, including Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States, have yet to file claims to extend their exclusive economic zone. According to Martin Pratt, Consultancy Director at IBRU: Centre for Borders Research, it is likely that future claims will terminate at the North Pole, eliminating possibility for overlapping claims. If countries do dispute future claims, they will have to negotiate maritime boundary agreements on a case-by-case basis.

A press release from the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources states that the claim has important implications for oil and gas development in the Arctic by allowing Russia “to get a glimpse of the future with regard to Arctic strategic developments.” The statement adds that, “We estimate that these territories include rather significant hydrocarbon reserves.”

Sources:

Russia Throws Its Weight Behind New Arctic Claim: Experts, 31 October 2014, RiaNovosti, http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20141031/194906250/Russia-Throws-Its-Weight-Behind-New-Arctic-Claim-Experts.html

Territorial expansion on Arctic agenda, 30 October 2014, by Atle Staalesen, Barents Observer, http://barentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2014/10/territorial-expansion-arctic-agenda-30-10

Russia’s Submission to Expand Continental Shelf in Arctic Likely to Be Approved: Experts, 30 October 2014, RiaNovosti, http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20141030/194856835/Russias-Submission-to-Expand-Continental-Shelf-in-Arctic-Likely.html