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Russia’s defense ministry draws bottom contour map to back Russia’s Arctic shelf bid

According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, the map’s scale allows to identify, categorize and determine key characteristics of the bottom contour

ST. PETERSBURG, October 18. /TASS/. Russia’s defense ministry has drawn a highly accurate bottom contour map to establish the outer border of Russia’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Dygalo said on Friday, citing Russia’s Navy commander, Nikolai Yevmenov.

The man was presented by Yevmenov at a session of the Russian government’s Maritime Collegium in St. Petersburg on Friday.

Addressing the Collegium, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that the defense ministry had obtained new exhaustive evidence that the Arctic Ocean’s shelf belonged to Russia. He said that the United Nations commission would consider them at its meeting in February.

"The new materials have made it possible to draw a vivid and detailed bottom contour model in the context of Russia’s bid for establishing the external border of Russia’s continental shelf. An electronic bathymetric map is a unique product drawn on the basis of the digital bathymetric database. The map’s scale allows to identify, categorize and determine key characteristics of the bottom contour, such as continental shelf, continental slope, and continental slope foot, with a high degree of accuracy," Dygalo quoted Yevmenov as saying.

Specialists from the Russian defense ministry’s navigation and oceanography directorate and the Navy’s cartographical division have created a digital base of bathymetric data for the central part of the Arctic Basin. "The bathymetric database has been drawn based on actual measurements only," he said.

Hydrographical and geophysical surveys involved Russian Navy ships, research and hydrographic vessels, nuclear-powered and diesel icebreakers, and civil aviation groups.

Russia’s application for establishing the external border of Russia’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean was submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in August 2015. There have been eleven meetings of the commission since.

Extra arguments were requested at these meetings to back up the continental nature of certain structural elements of the Arctic basin, including the geological and geophysical proof of the geological history of the Lomonosov Ridge.