According to Artur Chilingarov, the veteran explorer who led the expedition to plant a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole in 2007, Russia’s claim to a portion of the Arctic shelf would be filed with the United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea by December.
“I think we are seriously prepared,” he said, according to The Moscow Times. “We have gathered all the necessary information needed to make a just decision, including the experience of other countries.”
Chilingarov led a series of expeditions over the past few years seeking to prove that the undersea Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of Russia’s continental shelf.
Russia completed seismic surveys of the shelf’s outer limits in October 2012. In the “Arctic-2012” expedition Russia used the Northern Fleet’s unique “Losharik” nuclear-powered deep diving titanium submarine, as BarentsObserver reported.
If approved, the claim based on this research would see Russia gain an additional 1.2 million square kilometers of exclusive economic zone. It is believed that Russia might have competing claims with both Denmark/Greenland and Canada in the area of the Lomonosov Ridge.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.