Russia to attempt to prove its right to Lomonosov Ridge in summer

A Russian delegation will file an application this summer with the new UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to expand the Arctic shelf, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy told RIA Novosti.

In 2015, Russia filed a revised application with the UN to expand the borders of its continental shelf in the Arctic through the annexation of the underwater Lomonosov Ridge, which extends to the North Pole, as well as other formations. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, expanding the shelf requires proving the continental nature of geological structures that run contiguously with the shelf along the ocean floor, Prime news agency reports.

“The last session of the commission in its current form just recently took place. Elections will be held for the new commission members this summer and the 44th session will start in August. We will have to work with the new commission. A number of countries have already nominated specialists. Some members of the old commission will join it. It’s difficult at this point to say who the new members will be”, Donskoy said.

Donskoy said it usually takes at least five years to consider such voluminous applications.

“We are trying to speed up the consideration process, but for now we are in the stage of submitting information and discussing general issues concerning the application with the commission members”, he added.

Donskoy also mentioned that Russia began discussing applications in December with Denmark, which has also filed an application with the UN to expand its shelf, and “we will also continue working” with other countries.

In 2001, Russia made claims for the rich hydrocarbons of the shelf section that includes Lomonosov Ridge and Mendeleyev Ridge, however the application was rejected due to a lack of geological information. New expeditions to the North Pole along with seismic, geological, and geophysical studies in the Arctic Ocean to study the geological nature of Mendeleyev Ridge and Lomonosov Ridge and a bathymetric survey took more than a decade. The projected hydrocarbon resources of the areas under consideration are 4.9 billion tonnes of fuel equivalent.

Sources: RIA Novosti, Prime.
Photos from TASS