Submarine in the Arctic (photo:GettyImages) Today, February 10th 2016, the Russian news websites have reported that Russia has submitted a a revised application for the extension of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean to the United Nations, . Preparation of the materials for the new application continued for more than 10 years, including extensive research in the Arctic Ocean, said Russian Minister Sergei Donskoy. According with the Russian News Agency TASS,  Canada, Denmark and the United States sent a note to the UN Commission in which they stated not to have objections for the Commission to review Russia’s application. However, the Minister "confirmed the existence of pending issues on delimitation of the maritime space in the Arctic Ocean between Russia, Denmark and Canada. The minister noted that the areas of the continental shelf to the north of Greenland, listed in the application of Denmark filed in December 2014, substantially overlap areas claimed by the Russian Federation. In particular, the North Pole area and a part of the Lomonosov ridge. It is possible that similar overlaps could be found in the application of Canada that is to be submitted to the Commission later".  The application will be reviewed in the next 2 to 4 years. 

TASS continues: "Russia has already tried to defend its right to an enclave in the Arctic Ocean in 2001. Subsequently, Russia's application, which also included the area in the Sea of Okhotsk, was rejected by the Commission. After that, it was decided to request accession of these territories individually. In March 2014, the Russian claims to the land in the Sea of Okhotsk, 52,000 sq. km in area, were satisfied.
According to Donskoy, the concept of a revised application for the extension of the Arctic shelf was not changed. "The new application presents the same area, but with some modifications - in connection with the new substantiating materials that confirmed that Russia’s position was right," he said. In particular, the revised application included areas near the southern tip of the Gakkel ridge and Podvodnikov basin.
In addition, Russia plans to include accession of the Lomonosov ridge and other areas of the seabed, including the Mendeleev ridge, Nansen and Amundsen basins. According to the lowest estimates, it will increase the potential hydrocarbon reserves by 5 bln tonnes of equivalent fuel. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that Russia's claims are based on scientific understanding of the fact that the component parts of the Central Arctic submarine elevations complex have continental nature and are submarine elevations - natural components of the continental margin."

A similar application was submitted in 2001, but was declined for lack of information (see Russian submissions to to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf here).

Read more at Arctic.RU and TASS


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