Russia to submit shelf expansion claim to the UN on August 9
On August 9, Russia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sergei Donskoi will submit to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) a revised bid to expand the boundaries of Russia's continental shelf in the Arctic, the Interfax news agency reported.
The bid calls for enlarging Russia's Arctic boundaries by 1.2 million sq km. Earlier, the minister said consideration of the claim could take up to three to five years. Leopold Lobkovsky, research coordinator for the preparation of the bid and deputy director for geology at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, said on August 5 that the Russian delegation will assert its claim to the expansion of the continental shelf twice a year.
Under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the seabed and subsoil thereof beyond the continental shelf are the common heritage of humankind, on whose behalf the International Seabed Authority acts. As of now, all Arctic countries (Russia, Denmark, Norway and Canada), with the exception of the United States, have submitted bids to the UN Commission to expand their shelf boundaries. The United States may only submit its application if it accedes to the 1982 UN Convention.