Russia Submits Arctic Claim to UN

Russia Submits Arctic Claim to UNRussia Submits Arctic Claim to UN

Russia has filed an application to expand the boundaries of its continental shelf in the Arctic Sea.

Moscow made a similar claim in 2002, but the United Nations turned it down for lack of scientific support,  RT reported.

“The Russian application covers an underwater space covering an area of about 1.2 million square kilometers at a distance of over 350 nautical miles from the coast. To justify Russia’s bid for expansion, Russian experts used extensive scientific data collected during many years of Arctic research,” said a statement from a Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The application claims for Lomonosov Ridge, Mendeleev-Alpha Rise and Chukchi Plateau, Russia believes the territories to be belonging to “submarine elevations that are natural components of the continental margin".

The Podvodnikov and Chukchi Basins that divide the three territories were also added to the claim.

Moscow has based its claim on a 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The convention allows a country to claim an exclusive 200-nautical mile economic zone over the continental shelf abutting its shores.

If the continental shelf expands beyond the limit, the zone may be expanded up to 350 nautical miles with full control of natural resources, including gas and oil.

If Russian scientists prove that these ranges are the continuation of the Russian continental shelf, Moscow will be entitled an exclusive right to develop these resources, the volume of which, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, may reach 5 billion tons of untapped oil and natural gas reserves worth as much as $30 trillion.