Putin readies Arctic territorial claims

Putin would like the North Pole to be part of Russia.

The Russian claims for Arctic territories will be ready this fall and submitted to the UN Shelf Commission in spring 2015.


Meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy confirmed that Russia will have its Arctic claims prepared after summer. The claims will be submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in spring 2015, the minister said.

Russia this year successfully got the CLCS’s support for its expansion in the Sea of Okhotsk, and has high hopes that the Commission will approve also the far bigger claims in the Arctic. 

UN decides
According to Donskoy, the application should be submitted to the UN commission in early 2015 before a planned change of commission members. ”We have good and constructive interrelations with them, we know them and they know us […] we understand which questions that will be address to us”, Donskoy told the President.

Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy is preparing Russian Arctic bid to the UN.

Russia has since 2007 actively studied the Arctic sea bed as part of its bid to the UN body. A last Arctic expedition on the issue will be conducted this summer, the Kremlin informs.

The country in 2001 submitted a first application to the CLCS. However the Commission demanded additional scientific evidence, which would support the claims. The application included both the Lomososov and Medeleev Ridges, as well as the North Pole point. 

Flag planting
With its claims, Russia will have conflicting claims with both Canada and Denmark, the two other major Arctic territory contenders. In 2007, Russia planted a flag on the sea bottom on the North Pole point and subsequently stirred controversy among the other Arctic nations. After having flagged its territorial ambitions in the region, the Kremlin is unlikely to let go easily with its self-proclaimed acquisitions.

According to Minister Donskoy, Russia is now actively engaging its foreign ministry, as well as its ministry of defence, in pursuing its objectives.