Polar hero says Russia will 'demand' Arctic in 2009
(PM/RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 180, Part I, 27 September 2007) -- The head of the recent Russian Arctic-2007 expedition to the North Pole, Artur Chilingarov, who is a polar explorer, Hero of the Soviet Union, and deputy speaker of the State Duma, said on September 25 that Russia will file the necessary papers with the UN to have the Lomonosov and Mendeleyev ridges in the Arctic verified as being extensions of the Russian continental shelf and hence Russian territory, kommersant.com reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," August 8 and September 21, 2007). He added that Russia will carry out "boring" on the seabed below the North Pole in 2008 in order to verify the results of recent tests of small soil samples brought back by minisubmarines in August. On September 20, the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement that the samples provide scientific proof that the area is Russian. It said Russia will present the evidence to the UN under the terms of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. A UN commission rejected previous Russian claims to the area as lacking proof. Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States also have claims there. Those countries criticized as anachronistic the latest Russian mission, which also planted a titanium Russian flag on the seabed. The area is believed to be rich in mineral, oil, and gas deposits. Kommersant.com reported on September 25 that "hydrocarbon reserves are estimated at about 10 billion tons."
Posted 27 September 2007; 5:00:31 PM. Permalink
Tagged: Arctic Ocean, Autonomy, Governance, Legislation, Circumpolar News, International, Russia, Siberia / Russia