Mark Collins – Russia Submits Revised Arctic Seabed Claim to UN Body

Further to this post,

Canada and the Arctic: North Pole or Bust!

the Pole is not mentioned in this TASS story:

Russia files new bid with UN for expansion of Arctic continental shelf
Beside Russia, making claims to the areas under the masses of the Arctic Ocean water are Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US

UNITED NATIONS, August 4. /TASS/. Russia has filed a new bid for expansion of the limits of its Arctic continental shelf through the inclusion into it of the Lomonosov submerged ridge and some other sections of the Arctic Ocean floor [“The Lomonosov Ridge passes near but not over the North Pole..”–scroll down here].

A summary of the bid was published on Monday at the official website of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) [see here, via twitter @JamesKraska].

The document says that the “[…] Partial revised Submission of the Russian Federation on the establishment of the OLCS in the Arctic Ocean proceeds from the scientific understanding that the constituent parts of the Complex of the Central Arctic Submarine Elevations, namely the Lomonosov Ridge, Mendeleev-Alpha Rise, and Chukchi Plateau, and separating them the Podvodnikov and Chukchi Basins have the continental origin and belong to submarine elevations that are natural components of the continental margin under paragraph 6 of Article 76 of the Convention, which are not subject to distance limit of 350 nautical miles from the baselines.” ·

Under the Convention, such natural components do not fall under the distance limit of 350 nautical miles from the lines of departure.

The Convention on the Law of the Sea enables a country to broaden its economic zone on the condition that the seafloor outside its border [i.e. that is not sovereign territory] is a natural continuation of the continent’s fringe.

Beside Russia, making claims to the areas under the masses of the Arctic Ocean water are Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US. The interest of the Arctic littoral countries to the submerged Arctic spaces stems from the geologists’ predictions that locked beneath them are 30% of unexplored global reserves of natural gas and 15% of unexplored oilfields…

Russia stressed that “large complex of geological and geophysical studies was carried out in recent years by the Danish, Canadian and American researchers.” “However, most of the results of these studies are restricted and not available in public domain,” the document says adding that Russia held consultations with Denmark, Canada and Norway. The application submitted by Denmark claims for continental shelf to the north of Greenland “substantially overlaps the areas included in this partial Submission.”

The document noted that “final delimitation of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation in the Arctic Ocean with the Kingdom of Denmark, Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, and the United States shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Article 83 of the Convention (after the adoption of Commission recommendations on the Submission of the Russian Federation for establishment of the OLCS in the Arctic Ocean).”..

This AP story also does not mention a formal claim to the Pole. A map:

North Pole map

Relevant:

Arctic Tensions Not Really About the Region but Relations With Russia

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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