International Agreement needs to be reached to Resolve Arctic Problems: Russian Expert

International Agreement needs to be reached to Resolve Arctic Problems:  Russian Expert

Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend A.Gasimova / An agreement needs to be reached to resolve the problems regarding the disputed territory of Arktika claimed by Canada, Norway, Russia, Dania and the USA. "The problem with Arktika may be resolved only within the international law and it would be ideal to conclude a universal agreement like the agreement on Antarctic," stated the Professor of Russian International Marine Law, Dr. Vasili Gutsulak.

According to Gutsulak, we cannot speak about unilateral action by Russia without the consent of the arctic states. An agreement may take more than a year, furthermore, the position on Arctic countries is quite different.

The participants of the famous Russian expedition 'Artic 2007' headed by Artur Chilingarov returned to Moscow on 7 August. For the first time the scientists of the expedition dived into the Arctic Ocean at the north pole and took examples of the soil and fauna. They also lay down the Russian three-color flag.

The main aim of the expedition was to reveal that the underwater mountain range of Lomonosov and Mendeleev are geological extensions of the Russian continental sea border. Should this be proved then Russia will be able to claim an additional 1.2mln sq m of sea which has a large scale of reserves of hydrocarbon and fields of diamonds, tin and gold. However, Canada, Norway, Dania and many other countries, apart from Russia, have put claims to these ranges.

Gutsulak reported on 8 August that there was no need to think about the Arctic belonging to any country, we need to get evidence based on this search. "The situation is that in compliance with the UN Convention regulations on marine laws of 1982, the coastal country implements the sovereign rights regarding its own areawithin 200 nautical miles from which the width of the sea is measured," the Professor said.

"However, should any country wish to widen the continental sea border more than 200 nautical miles, they must, in compliance with the Convention, appeal to the Commission on borders of continental sea borders. The decision of the Commission is obligatory. Russia has already made an appeal in 2001, but the appeal was refused due to lack of evidence that this underwater region was the continuation of the Russian continental sea border Therefore the aim of the expedition was to reveal such evidence. Commenting on the statement of the Press-Secretary of the White House, Tom Casey, the expert noted that we can understand the anxiety of the USA, as the USA has not ratified the Convention of 1982 up to now and they cannot appeal to the Commission regarding borders of continental sea borders "The USA is preparing to appeal to the Commission," Gutsulak noted.

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