Russia to defend its Arctic shelf expansion bid at the UN twice a year
© RIA Novosti. Aleksey Danichev

Russia to defend its Arctic shelf expansion bid at the UN twice a year

A Russian delegation will defend the country's bid for the expansion of the Russian Arctic shelf at a special UN subcommission twice a year, said the bid's research coordinator Leopold Lobkovsky, Deputy Director for Geological Research at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), RIA Novosti reported. The subcommission is due to convene for its first session on August 8-12 and will meet again in November.

"This will be the first in-depth discussion of Russia's bid. After the session, I believe, we will see a vector of the key issues subject for further discussion. Normally, the subcommission meets twice a year. No one knows how many sessions will be needed. It may take several years," Lobkovsky said.

The sub-commission consists of seven elected members representing various countries. A delegation led by Head of the Federal Agency for Mineral Resources Yevgeny Kiselyov will be defending Russia's bid at the upcoming session. The delegation will comprise representatives of the ministries of natural resources and environment, foreign affairs and defense, along with RAS experts.

"Thy subcommission members have probably familiarized themselves with our application and will ask clarifying questions regarding certain clauses, including the geomorphology of the Arctic Ocean and seismic data. Following the session, we will probably be given a list of remarks and recommendations, which we will take into account and which should be implemented, if possible, by the next session, which will be in November," Lobkovsky added.

The application was officially filed by Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi in February 2016. Russia is claiming part of the sea bottom beyond the 200-mile zone within its entire Arctic sector, the North Pole area included. Minister Donskoi believes that the application may take three to five years to consider.