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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

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Russia submits Arctic seabed claim

(5 August 2015)

IBRU map of Russian claims

IBRU map of Russian claims

Russia has submitted a claim to Arctic seabed territory to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, according to the Russia Foreign Ministry. The territory claimed extends over 650 kilometers from the shore. The claim represents a follow-up submission from a claim first submitted in 2001, which was rejected in 2002 for lack of evidence. According to the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the new claim is the result of “ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research.”

The claim follows several years of Russian activity in the Arctic. In 2007, Russia raised a flag on the ocean floor at the North Pole. Recently, Russia restored several Soviet-era military outposts in the Arctic, as well as conducted military exercises in the area surrounding the Arctic Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land archipelagos.

Russia’s claim in the Arctic contains substantial overlap with the submission previously made by Denmark, and likely to be made by Canada. Thus, these filings are just the opening stage of a process that is likely to go on for some time as access to Arctic seabed resources is apportioned to coastal states (or, in some cases) designated as beyond the area where they have sovereign rights). The Arctic’s oil and gas reserves have attracted increasing attention as shrinking polar ice offers new possibilities for extraction.

To view a summary of the full submission visit: http://www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/submissions_files/rus01_rev15/2015_08_03_Exec_Summary_English.pdf 

To view IBRU Map of Arctic Maritime Jurisdiction, highlighting Russia’s original and 2015 claims: http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/ibru/resources/ArcticmapRussianonlyclaims05_08_15.pdf

Source:

Russia submits claim for vast Arctic seabed territories at UN, 4 August 2015, by Vladimir Isachenkov, CBC News, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/russia-submits-claim-for-vast-arctic-seabed-territories-at-un-1.3178447