Russia and Canada to explore the Arctic shelf together
© Press-service of Rosneft

Russia and Canada to explore the Arctic shelf together

Russia and Canada are preparing to discuss a potential joint geological project to explore the Arctic shelf, said Yevgeny Kiselyov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment and Head of the Federal Agency for Subsurface Resources Management. He took part in the annual CERBA Eurasia Mining Conference organized by the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) in Toronto.

A meeting of experts to discuss the project details may take place in St. Petersburg in May this year.

"Our main goal is to exchange facts, because the Arctic itself offers up very little geological information, if any, due to its natural and climatic conditions," Kiselyov said.

He explained that "to form a full opinion and accurate understanding of the geological nature of the Arctic region and the means to consider it for part of the development of the continental crust, we need to exchange opinions, knowledge and facts, which is the aim of our dialogue with the Canadians in May."

Kiselyov reported that Russian experts met to discuss this issue in Ottawa in December 2017, where the participants chose the term Arctic Bridge for this area of cooperation. 

"When we lay claim to the Arctic shelf, we say that there are no areas with an ocean floor between Russia and Canada, we call all this the Arctic Bridge, including the Lomonosov Ridge, the Mendeleev Ridge and the space between them," he said, explaining the choice of this term. He added that the implementation of the project will allow the participants to develop materials and documents "that will make it clear to the global community that the Arctic shelf exists de-facto and all Arctic nations have a right to it."

"This is a current issue for us, and I hope that the Canadians will, after announcing that they mean to support Russia's application and make an effort to resolve issues together, follow through with their intention and that no political issues will interfere with our dialogue," Kiselyov said.