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Russia, new UN commission to discuss Arctic shelf in July

June 02, 16:19 UTC+3
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ST. PETERSBURG, June 2. /TASS/. Russia will meet with a new UN commission in July 2017 to discuss its claim for some parts of the Arctic shelf, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy told reporters during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"We have already presented the claim. We plan to meet with the new UN commission because it has been reshuffled. We plan to meet and discuss our claim, but we are not going to present a new one. The meeting is scheduled to be held in mid-July in New York," the minister stated.

As Donskoy said earlier, Russia hopes that the claim will be decided upon before the committee’s re-shuffling is scheduled to occur this summer. However, later he declared that the consideration timeline for the claim may be moved up to 2018, as the decision was not taken before the UN committee shake-up.

Russia submitted a claim to the UN for 1.2 million square km of the Arctic Shelf. The country plans to add to its area the Lomonosov Ridge and other parts of the ocean floor, such as the Podvodnikov Basin, the Mendeleev Ridge, the southern part of the Gakkel Ridge and the North Pole area. This would enable Russia to increase its potential hydrocarbon reserves by at least 5 bln tonnes of standard fuel.

Under international law, the North Pole and the part of the Arctic Ocean in which it is located does not belong to any country.

Norway, the US, Canada and Denmark have also filed claims on various parts of the Arctic Ocean, because these areas contain 83 bln tonnes of standard fuel, 80% of which are in the Barents and Kara Seas. Besides, chances to discover major oil and gas fields in unexplored areas are very high.

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