The Fight for the Arctic Region: Russia vs. Canada

Lead Author Olga, Konevskikh
Institution Contact Saratov State University, Institute of History and International Relations Saratov, Russia, 47 prospect Entusiastov apt. 36, postal zone: 410039
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.5 Geopolitics and Security of the Arctic
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:20 PM - 01:30 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The popularity of the Arctic region is explained by the simple economic and geopolitical reasons. The Arctic the region with a lot of unexplored energy resources. It is the control over the North Sea Route. The question of the delimitation of the continental shelf occupies an important place in the foreign policy of the Arctic states and countries that do not have straight borders with this territory. The aim of this study is the legal definition of the Lomonosov ridge and the North Pole by the example of Russian and Canadian submissions to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
December 20, 2001 the Russian Federation made a submission to the UN Commission on the expansion of its economic zone in the Arctic. The UN Commission recommended Russia to modify justification for the submission due to the lack of maps of the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges. Today Russia has conducted a series of research which is necessary for the re-submissions. Russian application was submitted to the Commission in August 2015 and was officially presented on February 9, 2016. The new Russian submission includes the right to the North Pole and the Lomonosov Ridge. These areas partially cover the areas listed in the Canadian submission. Canadian scientists think that the Lomonosov Ridge - a natural extension of the continental shelf of Canada and the North Pole - also belongs to Canada. Nevertheless, Canadian experts do not have convincing evidence that these areas are Canadian.
Comparing the results of scientific research between the two countries, drawing parallels with similar precedents, the author concludes that Russia's claim is more practical and scientifically proven than the Canadian one. We cannot deny a possibility of signing bilateral agreements between the countries on the delimitation of spheres of influence in these areas.
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