Russia to present shelf expansion bid next month

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A Russian delegation will file a claim to expand the nation’s continental shelf claim in the Arctic to the new U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in September.

“We are holding the next session in September, and I am planning to come to New York at the beginning of the month, between Sept. 2 and 4. I will present the latest materials,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told Ria Novosti.

The Lomonosov Ridge, the dark blue area stretching across the North Pole, is the source of both Russian and Danish claims to the North Pole. (NOAA)
The Lomonosov Ridge, the dark blue area stretching across the North Pole, is the source of both Russian and Danish claims to the North Pole. (NOAA)

According to the Russian website The Arctic, the minister noted that the commission has had new members since the middle of 2017.

“New experts have come, and we have to meet them,” Donskoi said.

In February 2016, Donskoi presented Russia’s revised continental shelf claim in the Arctic Ocean to the United Nations after more than 10 years of complex geological research.

According to the UN Law of the Sea Convention, Russia must prove the continental nature of the ocean-bottom geological structures of the ridge in order to extend the shelf limits.

All together, the Russian application includes underwater territories with a total area of about 1.2 million square kilometers. The claim of the Lomonosov Ridge includes the area under the North Pole, which has gotten a lot of media attention after a Russian submarine planted a titanium flag on the North Pole seabed 4,300 meters below the surface of the Arctic Ocean in 2007.

The new commission commenced its work in June, and among the 21 members are experts within both geology, geophysics, hydrography and geodesy.