Environment Ministry moves to expand shelf zone
© RIA Novosti. Alexander Natruskin

Environment Ministry moves to expand shelf zone

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has sent to the relevant federal executive agencies a draft bid to expand the Arctic shelf beyond the 200-mile zone, Minister Sergei Donskoi told TASS.

"The proposed shelf area beyond the 200-mile zone is 1.2 million sq km," he said in the course of a mini-expedition to the North Pole.

According to the official, in March 2015, the Gramberg Scientific Research Institute of Oceanology and the National Scientific Research Institute, in conjunction with the State Scientific Research Institute of Navigation and Geography, finalized the reviewed bid to establish the external boundary of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

"This is not about expanding the borders. The borders are not expanded; what is expanded is the continental shelf area beyond the 200 nautical mile zone from the original line, in accordance with the said convention [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982]," Mr Donskoi said.