Russia files UN claim over vast Arctic
Iran Press TV
Tue Aug 4, 2015 6:4PM
Russia has filed a claim at the UN for a large swathe of the Arctic, more than a decade after its first claim was turned down.
Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday submitted the renewed claim to the United Nations for an additional 1.2 million square kilometers (463,000 square miles) of the Arctic continental shelf.
Moscow said it expected the request to be dealt with 'priority' and reviewed by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at the latest in the fall.
Russia had previously submitted its claim to the arctic territory to the UN body in 2001; however, it was rejected due to insufficient scientific evidence.
Russian scientists had backed the claim, arguing that the North Pole is part of the Eurasian continent.
Nonetheless, since the UN rejection, Moscow has arranged for some high-profile scientific expeditions to the Arctic to gather more data.
The Russian continental shelf, or simply the Arctic Shelf, consists of three separate, smaller shelves; the Barents Shelf, Chukchi Sea Shelf and Siberian Shelf.
Of these three shelves, the Siberian Shelf is the largest continental shelf in the world.
Under international law, a country has exclusive economic rights over its continental shelf within a 200-nautical-mile (370-km) radius from its coast.
Currently, no country owns the North Pole or the Arctic circle surrounding it.
The five countries circling the Arctic are Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States, who all pursue a greater portion of the rich mineral, oil and gas resources in the region.
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