International cooperation
Russia and Canada to begin talks on Arctic shelf borders in late November
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko

Russia and Canada to begin talks on Arctic shelf borders in late November

Talks between Russian and Canadian geology services on the Arctic continental shelf borders will begin at the end of November, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told RIA Novosti.

In 2015, Russia submitted to the UN Commission a revised application to extend its continental shelf borders in the Arctic by including the Lomonosov Ridge, which stretches toward the North Pole, and other geological formations. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to extend the shelf it is necessary to prove the continental nature of the geological structures on the sea bottom. Applications were also filed by Norway and Denmark; Canada and the US are expected to join them soon.

"Our colleagues are going to Canada in late November. Geologists will discuss the evidence, materials and approaches. We keep supporting the position we have always held," Donskoi said.

The minister said that in December 2016, Denmark hosted a meeting of geological agencies where Russia suggested talks on the applications already submitted to the UN Commission.

Leopold Lobkovsky, a participant in preparing the Russian application to extend its continental Arctic shelf from the Russian Academy of Sciences and deputy director for geology at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, told RIA Novosti earlier that in 2018 research consultations will begin with Canada, Denmark, the US and Norway regarding the belonging of underwater tectonic structures in the Arctic Ocean to various parts of the Arctic shelf.

In 2001, Russia claimed a part of the shelf that includes the Lomonosov Ridge and the Mendeleev Ridge, but its application was denied due to a lack of geological data.