USA Today reports that Russia has announced the sensational results of its Arctic expedition, which will enable it to acquire some highly mineral-rich territory.
The success of Russia’s scientists –led by all-Russia Oceanology Scientific Research Institute director Valeriy Kaminskiy– is disturbing to the United States. The latter had also geared themselves up to participate in the sharing of the Arctic “pie,” with its filling of oil, gas, gold, and diamonds.
John Bellinger, the chief legal adviser to the United States’ Secretary of State, stated that his country is tired of watching while other countries divide up the Arctic, and it will submit its own application for the right to own the littoral zone in the Alaska area.
“We are watching other countries busily pursuing their own interests,” Bellinger said in an interview for the USA Today. He believes that the United States may submit its right to own 600 miles [off Alaska,] or almost 1000 kilometers, into the Northern Ice Ocean [Arctic Sea.]
The United States would be ready to grab hold of their rights to a piece of the Arctic by tomorrow, but for one snag: The thing is that the United States has not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the very instrument that regulates all legal relations in respect of the shelf.
The Convention confirms a state’s right to a 12-mile zone of territorial waters and provides that a state has an individual right to manage the continental shelf along its entire length.
The Russian scientists have been attempting to scientifically validate the extension of the Russian shelf’s boundaries and seeking proof of the fact that the Lomonosov and Mendeleyev ridges are geological continuations of it. And they have found it.
Now Russia will be able to claim new territory with an area of 1.2 million square kilometers.
The Arctic Sea bed contains up to 25 percent of the world’s total oil and natural gas reserves. In addition, the Arctic Sea’s waters have deposits of tin, manganese, gold, nickel, lead, platinum, and diamonds concealed beneath them.
Denmark, Norway, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, and Finland, are ready to do battle with Russia via the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for these incalculable riches. It is no surprise that the United States has also decided to enter the fray.
What is surprising is that it has woken up so late. Now it will dispatch their own expedition to the North, but are letting out of their sight the second group of Russian scientists, who are already on the sea floor searching for further proof of Russia’s ownership of part of the Arctic territory.
Hey, Hey, USA! Too little too late?