Russia and Canada agreed on Thursday to resolve a dispute over the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the two countries' foreign ministers said on Thursday.
The Lomonosov Ridge was discovered by Soviet expeditors in 1948. The ridge stretches some 1,800 kilometers from the New Siberian Islands over the central part of the ocean to Ellesmere Island of the Canadian Arctic islands.
Russia first laid claim to the territory in 2001, but the UN demanded more conclusive evidence.
"We have reached an agreement with our Canadian colleagues to solve these questions as well as similar issues based on the [United Nations] Convention on the Law of the Sea," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Canadian counterpart.
The vast hydrocarbon deposits that will become more accessible as rising global temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice have brought the Arctic to the center of geopolitical wrangling between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark.
Under international law, each of the five Arctic Circle countries has a 322-kilometer (200-mile) exclusive economic zone in the Arctic Ocean.
However, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed by Russia in 1997, if a country can prove its continental shelf extends beyond the 200-mile limit, it can claim a right to more of the ocean floor.
In late July, the Russian research vessel Akademik Fedorov left Arkhangelsk for a three-month expedition to the Arctic to ascertain the borders of Russia's continental shelf.
Russia has said it will invest some 1.5 billion rubles ($50 million) in defining the extent of its continental shelf in the Arctic in 2010.
The Russian Geographical Society will host an International Arctic forum in Moscow on September 22-23. The forum will gather world's leading ecologists, experts and politicians to discuss the social, economic and environmental problems of the region.
MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti)