Russia plans extensive research program to support claim to Arctic Sea resources
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is planning extensive research to support its claim to a broad swath of energy-rich territory beneath the Arctic Sea, a top official of the nation’s icebreaker fleet said Friday.
Icebreakers will lead research vessels into the Arctic in a series of missions over the next three years to conduct a detailed geological analysis of the seabed, said Andrei Smirnov, deputy director for operations at state-run Atomflot.
Moscow claims a large part of the Arctic seabed as its own, arguing that it is an extension of Russia’s continental shelf. In 2007, scientists staked a symbolic claim by dropped a canister containing the Russian flag onto the seabed from a small submarine.
The U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway have also been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to contain as much as a quarter of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas.