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Russia hopes for positive decision on application to enlarge sea zone

August 20, 2013, 5:56 UTC+3

The continental shelf part of about 50,000 sq km claimed by Russia formally does not belong to any state

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UNITED NATIONS, August 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russia hopes for quick consideration of its application submitted to the United Nations to enlarge its 200-mile economic zone by adding a part of the continental shelf in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russian Natural Resources Minister Denis Khramov told Itar-Tass. He expressed the hope it would be considered positively.

"I think, the prospects are positive. I do not see any questions," the deputy minister said. According to him, the application was officially presented on Friday at the meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Khramov presented concrete materials to substantiate Russia's viewpoint geophysically and cartographically.

The consideration has already begun. A special sub-commission is formed to consider the application. "We will prove our viewpoint and present appropriate evidence to the sub-commission if they have questions. After that, it prepares its conclusion that will be presented to the Commission on the Continental Shelf," Khramov said.

Usually consideration of such applications takes a year. "But we can hope it will be faster," he noted.

The commission is expected to take a final decision at a plenary meeting in the first half of 2014.

The continental shelf part of about 50,000 sq km claimed by Russia formally does not belong to any state. According to the geological exploration results, it is rich in hydrocarbons, metals and other minerals. Russia bases its claims on the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea allowing enlarging a 200-mile economic zone if it is a natural continuation of the mainland.

Moscow already attempted unsuccessfully to achieve a positive decision of the commission in 2001.This time, Russia will confirm its arguments by the data of deep geological research, and Russia has managed to convince Japan not to object.

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