Russian think tank wants Arctic Ocean to become 'Russian Ocean'
It is time to recognize Russia’s overwhelming presence in the Arctic and rename the Arctic Ocean the ‘Russian Ocean’. That is the opinion expressed by the head of the Institute of Expert Assessments, a Moscow-based conservative think tank.
From the Indian Ocean to the Sea of Japan to the Gulf of Mexico, bodies of water are often named after a country that borders them. But not the Arctic Ocean — or at least not yet.
"It's traditional to name seas and oceans after the countries that have the most influence over them," says Nikolai Pavlyuk, head of the think tank, according to Russia Today.
Pavlyuk believes it is "logical" and "just" to tack on "Russian" to the ocean's name given Russia's extensive Arctic territories, scientific contribution to the region and influence over its future.
But given the uncertain legal status of key parts of the Arctic Ocean, including potentially lucrative shipping routes and natural resource deposits, the proposal may be more than meets the eye.
Russia has long argued for extending its territory beyond its exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from a country's coastline.
In 2007, explorer Artur Chilingarov planted a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole during a highly publicized expedition to map the Lomonosov Ridge.
“We are going to submit this proposal to the country’s leaders,” promised Pavlyuk.