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18 Oct, 2019 14:25

Russian military finds new ‘definitive’ proof to back Moscow’s Arctic shelf claim – Deputy PM

Russian military finds new ‘definitive’ proof to back Moscow’s Arctic shelf claim – Deputy PM

Additional research and acoustic profiling carried out by the Russian military has provided new data that puts Moscow’s claim on the resource-rich continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean beyond doubt, Deputy PM Yury Borisov said.

The Defense Ministry has gathered “a large amount of data”, which will be made public during a UN commission meeting in February, Borisov at a meeting of the maritime board on Friday. The UN body has already held 11 meetings to consider the Russian bid.

I believe those findings will be enough to provide definitive backing to our claim.

Earlier this year, the UN commission demanded Russia provide “additional argumentation to justify the continental nature of the individual structural elements of the Arctic basin, including evidence of the geological history of the formation of the Lomonosov Ridge,” the deputy prime minister said.

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Borisov said that Moscow filed an application to expand the boundaries of its continental shelf in the Arctic back in 2015.

Russia is acting in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which allows a country to claim an exclusive 200-nautical mile economic zone over the continental shelf abutting its shores. But in case the shelf expands beyond that limit, the economic zone can be expanded up to 350 nautical miles with full control of natural resources.

If the Russian bid is confirmed, the country will gain access to some 5 billion tons of untapped oil and natural gas reserves, worth as much as $30 trillion, according to the estimations of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

It’s not just Russia, other regional players like Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US are now actively looking to lay claim in the Arctic due to its rich natural resources and strategic geographical position.

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