“Russia made a new bid Tuesday for a huge swath of Arctic territory — including the North Pole — putting Canada in the position of potentially having to negotiate with the country to settle overlapping claims,” Montreal Gazette reports.
According to the news agency:
Canada, Russia, the U.S., Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the planet’s undiscovered oil and gas. Rivalry for Arctic resources has intensified as shrinking polar ice is opening new opportunities for exploration.
On Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had submitted a revised bid to the United Nations for 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea shelf.
Russia was the first to submit its claim in 2002, but the UN sent it back for lack of evidence.
A statement from a Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said the following:
The Russian application covers an underwater space covering an area of about 1.2 million sq km at a distance of over 350 nautical miles from the coast. To justify Russia’s bid for expansion, Russian experts used extensive scientific data collected during many years of Arctic research.
The application claims for Lomonosov Ridge, Mendeleev-Alpha Rise and Chukchi Plateau, Russia believes the territories to be belonging to
submarine elevations that are natural components of the continental margin.
The Podvodnikov and Chukchi Basins that divide the three territories were also added to the claim, RT reports.
According the US Geological Survey, the Arctic holds an estimated 13 percent (90 billion barrels) of the world’s undiscovered conventional oil resources and 30 percent of undiscovered conventional natural gas resources.
In 2007, Moscow staked a symbolic claim to the Arctic seabed by dropping a canister containing the Russian flag on the ocean floor from a submarine at the North Pole.
Russian energy giant Rosneft will invest some $500 billion in the exploration of the Arctic over the next 20-25 years,
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in February.
In November 2014, Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi said that Rosneft had invited Chinese companies to participate in joint energy projects in the Arctic.
Russia had positioned air defense missile and artillery weapon systems Pantsir (SA-22 Greyhound) and was planning to place MiG-31 (Foxhound) interceptor aircraft in the Arctic region, the deputy head of Russian Aerospace Defence Forces said in April.
We have already placed there gun systems Pantsir. Deployment of MiG-31 on the Russian Arctic airfield is planned,
Maj. Gen. Kirill Makarov said.