Russia is raising its claims on the resources of the Arctic Ocean coast and below.
Moscow last week submitted a request to the UN Commission on Continental Shelf Restrictions.
According to Philip Steinberg, a professor of political geography at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, Russia has expanded its original claim to about 705,000 square kilometers.
This request worries Robert Hubert, an expert on security issues in the North. He argued that if approved by the United Nations, Russia would be closer to Canada’s special economic zone, about 200 nautical miles off its coast.
According to a professor at the University of Calgary, Russia’s demand has already exceeded those filed by Canada and Denmark.
We have never seen a country spread like this over its neighbors. Here is the situation where the Canadian and Danish continental shelf were mentioned by the Russians as part of their continental shelf.
“It simply came to our notice then. It can’t be claimed anymore, ”said an expert from the Center for Military and Strategic Studies.
The United Nations should consider this request. If they approve it, Russia will have exclusive rights to some part of the Arctic Ocean, both seabed and underground.
The Federal Foreign Office said Canada was fully committed to exercising its sovereign rights in the Arctic. He is studying the Russian request to prepare a response.
Countries can submit scientific evidence to the UN on the soil and ground control of an extended continental shelf.
Professor Hubert referred to the increased Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border over the past two weeks.
“If the Russians resurrect tensions with Ukraine, it will resonate in the Arctic. I do not think anyone would think that Russia would do anything but pursue its foreign policy interests as far as possible.”
Whitney Lockenbauer, a professor at Trent University, did not share her colleague’s opinion.
“Russia is playing by the rules […]. It is very comforting for me to see her go through the process established in this particular case, ”he said.
According to him, the Russian request precedes talks between Moscow, Ottawa and Copenhagen to determine the limits of their continental shelves.
“The desire to discuss external limitations is always on the cards,” says Professor Lockenbauer. I am not concerned about the actions that Russia is trying to take to determine the external limits of its expanded continental shelf. ”
Since Russia has submitted the necessary scientific evidence, he is not even concerned about a potential conflict.
“We cannot settle on the continental shelf and gain the rights of the invader.”
According to international affairs, Canada is “strongly committed to the full exercise of its sovereign rights in the Arctic,” a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said in a statement.
The new Russian claims “do not give them new rights to the newly created overlap areas,” he said.
The story was produced with financial support from the Facebook stock exchanges and The Canadian Press for News.