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Russia applies to UN to confirm its Arctic Ocean borders — minister

August 05, 2015, 15:19 UTC+3
This move will help Russia confirm its right to a considerable part of the Arctic shelf
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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

NOVO-OGARYOVO, August 5. /TASS/. Russia has submitted an application to the Secretariat of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for establishing its borders in the Arctic Ocean, Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoi said on Wednesday.

This move will help Russia confirm its right to a considerable part of the Arctic shelf, the minister said at a meeting held by president Vladimir Putin with government members.

"We have obtained data [as a result of Russia’s explorations] that allow us to say with confidence that a considerable part of the Arctic Ocean bed is the natural continuation of the Russian part of the Eurasian continent and must be included in the Russian continental shelf," the minister said.

As the next stage, Russia’s application will be considered by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, he added.

"At this stage, apparently additional explorations will be required, as well as negotiations and diplomatic work with our neighbors such as Denmark and Canada, which are also submitting their applications," Donskoi said.

The Russian natural resources minister said he expected the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf would make a weighed decision. Last year, this commission passed a positive decision on a Russian application for the median part of the Sea of Okhotsk, the minister said.

Putin asked about whether the application would be considered in November.

"Last night, the UN Secretariat said it was so far considering examining this application at its next session in the spring of 2016. We’ll try to develop various options of our actions," the minister said.

The area of the Arctic Ocean bed, for which Russia has applied, is about 1 million square kilometers. This Arctic shelf contains natural resources in the amount of about 5 billion tons of fuel equivalent, the minister said.

Russia measured the seabed, carried out mapping and seismic studies as it prepared the application, he added.

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