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Russia's Land Grab

Russia claims it owns a portion of the North Pole:

It is already the world's biggest country, spanning 11 time zones and stretching from Europe to the far east. But yesterday Russia signalled its intention to get even bigger by announcing an audacious plan to annex a vast 460,000 square mile chunk of the frozen and ice-encrusted Arctic.


According to Russian scientists, there is new evidence backing Russia's claim that its northern Arctic region is directly linked to the North Pole via an underwater shelf.

Under international law, no country owns the North Pole. Instead, the five surrounding Arctic states, Russia, the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland), are limited to a 200-mile economic zone around their coasts.

On Monday, however, a group of Russian geologists returned from a six-week voyage on a nuclear icebreaker. They had travelled to the Lomonosov ridge, an underwater shelf in Russia's remote and inhospitable eastern Arctic Ocean.

According to Russia's media, the geologists returned with the "sensational news" that the Lomonosov ridge was linked to Russian Federation territory, boosting Russia's claim over the oil-and-gas rich triangle. The territory contained 10bn tonnes of gas and oil deposits, the scientists said.

Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper celebrated the discovery by printing a large map of the North Pole. It showed the new "addition" to Russia - the size of France, Germany and Italy combined - under a white, blue and red Russian flag.

Yesterday, however, some scientists doubted whether Russia's latest Arctic grab stood up to scrutiny.

To extend a zone, a state has to prove that the structure of the continental shelf is similar to the geological structure within its territory. Under the current UN convention on the laws of the sea, no country's shelf extends to the North Pole. Instead, the International Seabed Authority administers the area around the pole as an international area.

"Frankly I think it's a little bit strange," Sergey Priamikov, the international co-operation director of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St Petersburg, told the Guardian. "Canada could make exactly the same claim. The Canadians could say that the Lomonosov ridge is part of the Canadian shelf, which means Russia should in fact belong to Canada, together with the whole of Eurasia."

Heh. I'd love to see Canada make this claim.


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Comments (15)

It's George Bush's fault fo... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

It's George Bush's fault for putting missile defense in Eastern Europe.

And Bush told us he'd seen ... (Below threshold)

And Bush told us he'd seen into Putin's soul.

Guess he missed the expansionist part.

"Xа-ха-ха, Веселое Рождеств... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

"Xа-ха-ха, Веселое Рождество!"

Canada, pah, how about the ... (Below threshold)
DJ:

Canada, pah, how about the US make the same claim via Alaska!!!...

Just think, when ALgores nightmare comes true, there'll be more beaches to enjoy!!!

I can see it now, kids with 'SURF ALASKA' T-Shirts in 2050.

Cool story. First time I'v... (Below threshold)

Cool story. First time I've given a Kim post 5 stars.

Seriously though, by 2020 the Arctic Ice Cap will completely melt away during the summertime and this should facilitate a vigorous competition to exploit the region's natural resources.

Too bad there's no dictator of the Arctic that we could overthrow to get first dibs on everything!

Too bad there's no... (Below threshold)
Too bad there's no dictator of the Arctic that we could overthrow to get first dibs on everything!

Only a dyed-in-the-wool Stalinist could complain about overthrowing dictators.

...to exploit the ... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
...to exploit the region's natural resources.

Exploit natural resources? Cool!

Or we could just send our socialists up there to join up with the Russkies.

Leave it to Larkin to suppo... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Leave it to Larkin to support someone trying to reassemble the USSR, the most repressive regime around until Reagan told them to kiss a** and backed it up. Poor old Putin in just like a left winger, aka democrat, no ability to accept facts and the fact is Putin is Pi**ing into the wind. In the end it will all be on him just like it is on the crazy democrats in congress today, what, single digit approval and falling,,,fast. The most criminal, ethical challenged congress leadership in over 200 years. At least they have set one record. Most hated in history is a record, isn't it? And the dimwits wonder why the world don't trust the U.S., I've lived here 66 years and I don't trust any democrat in any office today. The world would be wise not to trust a party that want's to sell out Amreica for the second time in 30-35 years. Sell out your own country and you'll sell out anyone. Too bad I was a democrat for many years. Dimmy and Slick changed that forever.

Is anyone else annoyed at a... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

Is anyone else annoyed at all these countries claiming land that they have little to no control over? Its like Sudan claiming the Darfur region when it is completely powerless to do anything about the genocide there or Pakistan claiming the region Osama is allegedly hiding in. I say if you can't assert control over it, it ain't yours.

Russia. They'll try any... (Below threshold)
Philip:

Russia. They'll try anything but real democracy.

Fine. We'll take the Moon ... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Fine. We'll take the Moon and Mars.

Speaking of the Moon and Ma... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

Speaking of the Moon and Mars, where's China in that equation?

Speaking of the Mo... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Speaking of the Moon and Mars, where's China in that equation?

Probably a lot closer then they were 15 years ago, thanks to Slick Willy allowing the transfer of missile and guidance technology to the ChiComs in exchange for a few bags of cash from some Buddhist Monks.

Speaking of the Moon and... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Speaking of the Moon and Mars, where's China in that equation?

Trying to get an unsafe, ready to blow up, capsule into orbit with an astronaut who will either die in the capsule or a couple years later to cancer due to inadequate shielding.

Remember, ChiComs don't just poison pets, they make crappy everything.

There are so many of them, ... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

There are so many of them, so yes, I can see where they might go with a "disposable astronaut" approach.




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