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    Russia Set to Present Arctic Shelf Expansion Bid to New UN Commission in August

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    Moscow will present its bid on the expansion of Russia's Arctic shelf border to a new composition of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in August, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told Sputnik Thursday.

    ARKHANGELSK (Sputnik) — In 2015, Russia submitted a revised bid to the United Nations, seeking to enlarge its share of the Arctic continental shelf, to include the Lomonosov Ridge, the Mendeleev Ridge and other continental elevations.

    “Just recently the last session with a commission of a current composition took place. In summer, the elections for a new composition of commission will be conducted, the 44th session will begin in August. We will have to work with new members. Several countries have already nominated the specialists, some will remain from the previous commission,” Donskoi said.

    Such extensive bids are usually reviewed for a period of five years, the minister added.

    Kola Bay, Arctic Ocean
    © Sputnik / Mikhail Fomichev
    “We are trying to speed up the reviewing process, but currently we are on the stage of submitting the information and discussing the general points of the bid with the members of commission,” Donskoi noted.

    Russia has previously staked a claim to the shelf, which is rich with hydrocarbons, but its first application was rejected in 2002 due to a lack of geological evidence. Since then, Russia has conducted a number of Arctic expeditions involving seismological and geophysical research to establish the geological composition of the Mendeleev and Lomonosov underwater ridges as a continuation of the Eurasian continent, in hopes of extending the country's jurisdiction with some 1.2 million square kilometers (463,000 square miles) of the Arctic Ocean, reaching up to the North Pole.

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