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Russian military make detailed map to back up Arctic shelf border claims

The UN commission is to discuss the Russian application in February

ST. PETERSBURG, October 21. Specialists of the Russian Defense Ministry made a high-precision bathymetric map, which will be attached to the country’s claim for the continental shelf’s borders in the Arctic Ocean, the Defense Ministry’s representative Igor Dygalo told reporters on Friday, referring to the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yevmenov, who participated in a meeting with the Russian government.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said the Defense Ministry had received exhaustive proofs that the Arctic Ocean’s shelf belongs to Russia, and the UN commission would discuss the Russian application in February.

"The received data was used to make a clear and detailed map of the bottom’s topography in the context of the Russian claim for the continental shelf’s border," the Defense Ministry’s representative quoted the commander-in-chief as saying. "The digital bathymetric base was used to make an electronic bathymetric map, whose scale gives measurable description and visual presentation of the submerged terrain’s features, like continental shelf, continental slope and foot of continental slope."

The Defense Ministry’s specialists have made a digital bathymetric base of the Arctic basin’s central part. "The database is unique as it applies only actual measurements," the ministry’s representative added.

The hydrographic and geophysical surveys were made from vessels of the Navy as well as from research, hydrographic vessels, nuclear and diesel icebreakers, and from civil aircraft. The complex studies in the Arctic Ocean in 2019 used most up-to-date complexes and systems. The Akademic Fyodorov research vessel covered more than 5,600 miles for all-parameters complex studies.

In August 2015, Russia filed with the UN Commission a claim for additional 1.2 million square kilometers. The commission had eleven meetings. Following those meetings, Russia was to present additional evidence, including geological and geophysical proof of the Lomonosov Ridge’s geological history. At the 50th session in July 2019, the sub-commission did not agree with the Russian delegation’s view on the outer continental border of the Gakkel Ridge’s southern part.