Russia lays claim to vast areas of Arctic [again]

Foreign ministry says it has submitted bid to UN for more than 463,000 sq miles of sea shelf as competition for oil and gas resources heats up.

AP, August 4

Russia has submitted a bid to the UN claiming vast territories in the Arctic, the country’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said in a statement that Russia is claiming 1.2m sq km (over 463,000 sq miles) of sea shelf extending more than 350 nautical miles (about 650km) from the shore.

Russia, the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the planet’s undiscovered oil and gas. Rivalry for resources has intensified as shrinking polar ice is opening up new exploration opportunities.

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