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Russia confident its claims to Arctic waters will succeed

United States
Vladimir Isachenkov

Moscow -- Russia is optimistic about winning United Nations approval of its claim to Arctic territories that are rich in oil and gas, a senior Kremlin adviser said Wednesday.

With shrinking polar ice opening up new opportunities for exploring the Arctic region, Russia as well as Canada and Denmark have said they would file claims with the U.N. that an undersea mountain range called the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of their respective territories.

Those three countries, along with the United States and Norway, have been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the polar region believed to contain as much as a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas.

Russia was the first to submit its claim in 2001, but the U.N. sent it back for lack of evidence. In 2007 Russia staked a symbolic claim to the region by dropping a canister containing the Russian flag on the ocean floor from a small submarine at the North Pole.

Now, Russia is preparing a new report for the U.N. after gathering more data to support its Arctic claim, including samples from the Arctic sea bed collected by a polar expedition this year, said Alexander Bedritsky, presidential adviser on climate change.

"I believe we have a strong chance to win approval for our bid," with the new data submitted in 2012-2013, he told reporters at the sidelines of an Arctic forum in Moscow.

Canada is also expected to file its claim during that period, while Denmark plans to file by the end of 2014.

A senior adviser at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland suggested Arctic nations could all be successful in their bids.

"If all the coastal states adhere to the rule of law, then there is a way of settling these overlapping claims," Christian Marcussen told The Associated Press.

Bedritsky and other Russian officials agreed Arctic nations need to cooperate and settle disputes peacefully.

"We will protect our interests in the Arctic with all civilized instruments envisaged by international agreements," Bedritsky said. "I don't think it will lead to a confrontation, even though some nations are talking about strengthening their military potential."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week that Russia is wary of NATO's presence in the Arctic region and said that it could raise additional problems.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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