November 30th, 2019

Russia is winning support for its claims on Arctic shelf, says chief negotiator

According to the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the 50th  session of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental  Shelf resulted in the approval of key points in the Russian submission  to the UN body.

The Commission agrees that the Lomonosov Ridge, the Medeleev Ridge,  as well as the Podvodnikov Basin, are underwater plateaus and natural  extensions of the Russian shelf, the Ministry informs.

The Commission session took place in the period 1 July to 16 August  2019. In the first part of that period did the sub-commission that  handles the Russian submission assemble. The Russian delegation was  headed by Deputy Minister Denis Khramov and included representatives of  the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, as well  as several research institutes.

The natural resource ministry has not responded to a request from the Barents Observer for additional information. 

Vast seabed

If the Commission decides fully in Russia’s favor, the country will  be able to claim sovereignty over 1.2 million square kilometers of  Arctic sea shelf that extends more than 350 nautical miles (about 650  kilometers) from the shore.

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Øystein Jensen, an expert on the Law of the Sea at the Fridtjof  Nansen Institute in Norway, agrees it would be a major development.

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