Russian prepares to issue claim over Arctic territory to UN - Macleans.ca

Russian prepares to issue claim over Arctic territory to UN

Moscow expected to argue for nearly one million square kilometres in the Arctic

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Russia is expected to submit a claim to the UN within a year in the hopes of annexing a massive swath of the Arctic that is currently under international control. The area, which covers nearly one million square kilometres, would see an estimated 25 per cent of the world’s untapped hydrocarbon reserves as part of Russian territory. The scramble for claims over the Arctic has largely been waged between Canada, Russia, the United States, Denmark and Norway. In July, Russia sent a nuclear-powered ice-breaker and a ship to map the bottom of the ocean in order to support their contention that the Siberian continental shelf is connected to the sea-bottom beneath the Arctic ice. The country has also announced the creation of an Arctic military force, and a US$33-billion port on its Arctic coast. For its part, Canada will hold a military exercise called Operation Nanook in the region this month, and is also preparing a territorial claim of its own.

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