MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) — Russia's prospective submission to the United Nations to expand the limits of its continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean is backed by a solid scientific research, member of Arktika 2007 Russian expedition to the North Pole Frederik Paulsen told RIA Novosti Thursday.
"The new submission is based on a more solid scientific research," Paulsen told RIA Novosti, commenting on the prospects of the new Russian submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to be approved.
However, Paulsen noted that the United States has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that regulates the process of setting the outer limits of the continental shelf. Therefore, even if the submission is approved, the decision "will not be binding for Americans", and the situation will remain uncertain.
On Wednesday, Russia's Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy announced that Moscow would submit documents to the UN CLCS in order to expand its territories in the Arctic Ocean in spring 2015.
Russia has been laying its claims on a vast area of resources-rich Arctic shelf, including the Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges since 2001, when it originally made a submission to the CLCS. However, the submission was returned in 2002 allegedly due to the lack of information on the Lomonosov ridge with recommendations that were not made public.
In order for the Russian territorial claims to be recognized by the United Nations, it must be proven that the respective areas are a continuation of the continental crust. According to the Natural Resources Ministry, such a recognition would bring Russia five billion tons of reference fuel.