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Lavrov: Boundaries of Russia’s Arctic zone can only be expanded

The Russian foreign minister commmented on a possibility of giving a part of the Arctic to China

DVORIKI VILLAGE (Vladimir region), July 22. /TASS/. The boundaries of the Russian Arctic zone can only be adjusted as regards their expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, delivering a lecture about the situation in the world at the National Educational Youth Forum "Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma."

He answered a question from the audience whether Russia, the United States and Canada intend to give their part of the Arctic to China.

"If the United States and Canada want to give part of their Arctic zone to someone - well, they are adults," he said, laughing. "But our Arctic zone - it’s our Arctic zone, and now its boundary is being adjusted as regards its expansion."

According to Lavrov, Russia has submitted a final bid for the expansion of the limits of its continental shelf in the Arctic.

"It has already been submitted to the UN Commission and will be considered in the next six months or a year", he said.

"China is an observer in the Arctic Council, it is interested in interacting with it and taking part in practical projects implemented by the Arctic Council countries," said the Russian foreign minister.

In August 2015, Russia filed a new bid for the expansion of the limits of its Arctic continental shelf through the inclusion into it of the Lomonosov submerged ridge and some other sections of the Arctic Ocean floor. 

The Convention on the Law of the Sea enables a country to broaden its economic zone on the condition that the seafloor outside its border is a natural continuation of the continent’s fringe. Beside Russia, making claims to the areas under the masses of the Arctic Ocean water are Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US. The interest of the Arctic littoral countries to the submerged Arctic spaces stems from the geologists’ predictions that locked beneath them are 30% of unexplored global reserves of natural gas and 15% of unexplored oilfields.