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Minister says new research backing Moscow’s Arctic claim possible

Nine Arctic expeditions to gather information were carried out in the period from 2001 to 2014

UN, August 10. /TASS/. Russia may carry on more research works in the Arctic if additional grounds are required for its bid to expand presence in the Arctic Ocean considered by the United Nations, Minister Sergei Donskoi said following the meeting of the UN subcommittee responsible for the Russian bid.

According to Donskoi, "nine Arctic expeditions have been carried out in the period from 2001 to 2014 gathering a raft of information."

"On the other hand, if members of the subcommittee have any additional questions we do not rule out that more research works will follow," he added.

Moscow submitted an application to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) last August. Russia claims that the Lomonosov Ridge and other parts of the Arctic seabed belong to its continental shelf. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allows states to expand their economic zone provided that the seabed beyond it is a natural extension of the continental edge. According to the lowest estimates, the potential hydrocarbon reserves of the territory claimed by Russia may top 5 bln tonnes of equivalent fuel. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said earlier that Russia's claims are based on scientific understanding of the fact that the component parts of the Central Arctic submarine elevations complex have continental nature and are submarine elevations - natural components of the continental margin.