Russia re-applies for Arctic shelf expansion
© RIA Novosti. Alexey Danichev

Russia re-applies for Arctic shelf expansion

Russia has submitted a revised application to the United Nations to expand the boundaries of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic by adding the Lomonosov Ridge and other sections of the Arctic Ocean floor that are related to the nature of the continent, TASS reported.

"Russia's partly revised claim to change the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean is based on the scientific understanding that certain parts of the Central Arctic Submarine Elevations, namely the Lomonosov Ridge, Mendeleev-Alpha Rise and Chukchi Plateau, and the Podvodnikov and Chukchi basins that separate the three areas have continental origins," Russia's submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) reads.

According to the application, the listed areas of the ocean floor are natural components of the continental margin, which, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, do not fall under the 350-nautical miles from the baselines rule.

If scientists can prove that these ridges are natural extensions of the Russian continental shelf, the country will have a priority right to develop their resources, which could reach the equivalent of 5 billion tons of oil equivalent, as estimated by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Four other Arctic nations — Denmark, the United States, Canada, and Norway — also have their own sectors of the Arctic.