UN Committee defines external borders of Russian continental shelf in the Pacific and Arctic

The 11th session of the UN Committee for continental shelf borders, opened in the world community headquarters in New York, will focus on the Russian issue.

Russia was the first of the UN members to introduce in December 2001 a proposal on defining the external borders of its Pacific and Arctic continental shelf exceeding the 200-mile zone. In May 2002 the Committee received additional documents on the issue. The results of their consideration are to be announced at the current session.

Russia is represented by its foreign ministry and natural resources ministry delegation headed by deputy natural resources minister Ivan Glumov.

It is quite possible that the Russian claim will be satisfied already at this session, the Russian diplomatic circles believe. However, new members of the Committee, elected in April this year, may need more time to examine the materials provided by Russia.

If the UN Committee adopts positive recommendations on the claim, the area of the additional sovereign shelf assigned to Russia will amount to 1.2 million square km. This will increase the forecast energy resources reserves by 5 billion tons.

The UN Committee for continental shelf borders was set up in 1997. The Russian claim is the first one of this kind to be considered by the Committee.

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