Russia renews claims to Arctic territories

Arctic territories 14 years after it last raised the subject, Russia has submitted a revised application to the United Nations claiming sovereignty over a 1.2m² underwater territory on the outer margin of the Arctic continental shelf abutting Russia’s land mass. The claim pertains to the Lomonosov and Alpha Ridges, the Chukchi Cap, and the Podvodnik and Chukchi Ocean Basins that separate them. 
Russia originally applied for sovereignty of a smaller part of the Lomonosov Ridge in 2001, but could not prove that the territory was an extension of the continent and therefore belonged to Russia according to the criteria enshrined in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. That proof has now been provided, according to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the melting of the ice cap facilitating both transportation and the exploration for natural resources, the stakes are high; a 2008 United States Geological Survey estimated that areas north of the Arctic Circle hold 90bn barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil (and 44bn barrels of natural gas liquids ) in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum – around 13% of the undiscovered oil in the world. Denmark, Canada, Norway and the U.S. are all also laying claim to sometimes overlapping territories in the region.

Source: rbth