Russia’s Arctic shelf bid 90 percent complete

Map: Google Earth

The official submission for Russia’s claim to Arctic shelf borders expansion is nearly ready, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.


- We have done a great deal of work, with the submission 90 percent complete, Ivanov told at a press conference, according to RIA Novosti.

The deputy prime minister said that Russian specialists are preparing a claim to be submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2012. - I hope this process will end with a positive outcome, Ivanov said.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, coastal states have the sovereign rights for the exploitation and management of natural resources on the continental shelf, if it is the natural prolongation or continuation of their land territory or domain. In 2011, Russia submitted a claim for expanding its shelf borders to the UN commission, but it was denied due to lack of information.

Norway is the only of the five Arctic countries bordering on the Arctic Ocean which has got its claims finally approved. In 2009, the UN Commission approved the country’s claim on the shelf. Norway’s newly defined continental shelf in the north covers 235,000 km2 or three-quarters the size of mainland Norway.

Read more: Limits of Norway’s Arctic seabed agreed

Russia’s claim includes an estimated 1,2 million km2. It is believed that Russia might have competing claims with both Denmark/Greenland and Canada in the area of the Lomonosov Ridge.