الاثنين، 3 أغسطس، 2015

RUSSIA CLAIMS VAST SWATHES OF ARCTIC TERRITORY


Russia has submitted a bid for control of vast territories in the Arctic to the United Nations, its foreign ministry has confirmed.
Moscow said in a statement that it was claiming 1.2 million sq km (more than 463,000 sq miles) of the Arctic sea shelf, extending more than 350 nautical miles (around 650km) from the coast.
The US, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia have all been trying to gain control of parts of the Arctic, which is thought to have up to a quarter of the planet's untapped oil and gas supplies.
The competition to assert jurisdiction over parts of the region has intensified as shrinking polar ice caps have opened up new areas for exploration.
Russia first submitted its claim in 2002, but it was sent back by the UN due to lack of evidence.
It said its revised bid contains new arguments and that "ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research are used to back the Russia claim."
Russia made a symbolic claim to part of the territory in 2007 by dropping a canister containing a Russian flag on to the ocean floor from a submarine in the North Pole. 
Among tensions over the Ukraine crisis and with neighbours in the Baltic, Vladimir Putin has also moved to increase his military presence in the Arctic.
A Soviet-era military base on the New Siberian Islands has been restored and other outposts in the region have been beefed up. 
Earlier in 2015, Russian forces took part in sweeping training exercises across the Arctic.
Some 38,000 servicemen, more than 50 surface ships and submarines and 110 aircraft were involved in the drills.
Russia has justified its actions by claiming the new facilities are vital for protecting shipping routes that link Europe with the Pacific.

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