Tuesday

17th Sep 2019

Russia re-submits Arctic claims to UN

  • Russia expects the UN to start looking at its bid in the autumn (Photo: Visit Greenland)

Russia Tuesday (4 August) announced it had submitted a revised application to the UN seeking the expansion of its Arctic shelf border, rich in oil and other natural resources.

The move is likely to add to the simmering tensions on who has jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic with the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway all in the race.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The entire region is drawing intense interest as ice packs melt, opening up new shipping routes and access to abundant supplies of oil and gas (Photo: NN - norden.org)

The Russian bid covers an underwater area of some 1.2 million square km extending for more than 350 nautical miles (about 650 kilometers) from the shore, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The claim includes both the Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges, two major structures beneath the Arctic Ocean.

Russia was the first to submit a claim in 2001, but the UN sent it back on grounds of lack of evidence, asking for more research to back it up.

"A vast array of scientific data collected during many years of Arctic research serves to justify Russia's rights to this area," the ministry said on Tuesday.

Russia expects the UN to start looking at its bid in autumn.

The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes the right for countries with sovereignty over their territorial sea to set a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

In cases where the continental shelf expands beyond the set limit, the zone is allowed to be expanded up to 350 nautical miles with full control of its natural resources.

In 2007, a Russian submarine dropped a canister containing a Russian flag on the ocean bed of the North Pole to mark its Arctic claims.

The region is drawing intense interest as ice packs melt, opening up new shipping routes and access to abundant supplies of oil and gas.

The region contains 30 percent of the world's undiscovered natural gas and 15 percent of its oil, according to the US Geological Survey.

It will now be up to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to decide if Russia should be entitled to include the areas under its sovereignty.

Norway was in 2009 the first country to get its Arctic territorial claims approved, while Denmark/Greenland submitted a claim in December 2014. That latter claim includes ownership of the North Pole and is consequently in conflict with the Russian claim.

EU gets cold shoulder in the Arctic

A decision could still be years away on the European Commission's long-standing application to join the increasingly important Arctic Council as a permanent observer.

Focus

What Trump means for the Arctic

US air base in Greenand likely to expand, but Obama-era policies on global warming and environmental protection set to be main casualties of Trump rule.

Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs

European People's Party group leader Manfred Weber defended Ursula von der Leyen's decision to rename a commission portfolio, partly dealing with migration, "protecting the European way of life". He said it means rescuing people in the Mediterranean.

Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing

Hungary was quizzed by EU ministers over its domestic crackdown on media, judges, academia and NGOs. Hungary's minister responded by saying the country had defended "the European way of life" for centuries, and it should be respected.

Podcast

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. German top lawmaker scolds Bettel over Johnson snub
  2. Greens decide on Tuesday on talks on Five Star joining
  3. Belgian mayors give Juncker a tongue-lashing
  4. Von der Leyen defends 'way of life' slogan
  5. Court hears case on UK's pre-Brexit parliament shutdown
  6. Nato rings alarm on Gulf 'escalation'
  7. Luxembourg mockery of British leader sparks 'anger'
  8. Majority of Belgians against excluding Vlaams Belang

Podcast

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Opinion

Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

The new migration commissioner's job title, "Protecting our European way of life", rings not of pan-European solidarity or federalism - but is incorporated from the playbook of the extreme right.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
  2. Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing
  3. Trumpworld In Europe
  4. How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires
  5. Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal
  6. EU must give full support to Ukraine to dissuade Kremlin
  7. EU divided on how to protect rule of law
  8. Nordic region to become world's most sustainable and integrated

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us