Moscow eyes autumn start for UN inquiry into Russia's Arctic shelf claim

Russia's Foreign Ministry expects an international commission to start work this autumn on assessing its claim to an underwater space of 1.2 million square kilometres stretching more than 350 nautical miles offshore into the Arctic Ocean.

Russia's Foreign Ministry expects an international commission to start work this autumn on assessing its claim to an underwater space of 1.2 million square kilometres stretching more than 350 nautical miles offshore into the Arctic Ocean.

The inquiry into Russia's case for extending its territory will be held by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

"To justify Russia’s rights in this area, a vast array of scientific data collected during many years of Arctic research has been used, " a ministry statement said.

Submitting an application to the commission "was an important step in formalising Russia’s rights to the Arctic shelf in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea", it added.

"According to procedural rules and the commission’s practice, Russia’s application is subject to consideration on a priority basis considering the fact that we originally submitted the relevant application in 2002," the ministry said.

"This being so, we expect the commission to start working on Russia’s application as early as in the autumn of 2015."

First published by TASS.

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