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Russia broadens Arctic seabed claim to Canada/Greenland EEZs



Russia’s claim now covers some 70 percent of the seabed in the central parts of the Arctic Ocean and reaches to Canada and Greenland’s exclusive economic zones. (1)

According to a report in Arctic Today newsletter, Russia has formally enlarged its claim to the seabed in the Arctic Ocean all the way to Canada’s and Greenland’s exclusive economic zones. The claim is enlarged by two extensions that were filed last Wednesday, stretching from points near the North Pole to Greenland’s and Canada’s exclusive economic zones.

Noticeably, Russia has not extended its claim into waters north of Alaska that are known to be part of the U.S. sphere of interests, even though Russian vessels appear to have collected data about the seabed in these waters in 2020, Arctic Today noted.

Philip Steinberg, professor of political geography and director of the Centre for Border Research at the University of Durham in the U.K., estimated on Saturday that Russia is enlarging its claim by approximately 705,000 square kilometers.

The Russian claim now covers some 70 percent of the seabed in the central parts of the Arctic Ocean outside the EEZs of the Arctic coastal states, Steinberg explained.

The Russian enlargement will significantly increase the overlap between Russia’s claim to the Arctic seabed and the claims filed by Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark.

Those three claims already overlap at the North Pole. The Russian claim now overlaps with the Danish claim with approximately 800,000 square kilometers, up from some 600,000 square kilometers, according to one expert in Denmark, speaking on condition of anonymity because the estimate is unofficial, Arctic Today reported.

(1) Prelim mapping/data from @ibrudurham on new Russian submission to UN Continental Shelf Commission. Bright yellow is Russian EEZ; pale yellow-green is Russian CLCS submission, with new bits inside dotted lines; pale blue is other Ctrl Arctic Ocean beyond 200nm from land