Partial overlapping of territorial claims in Arctic does not threaten peace: Russian ambassador-at-large

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/12/7 10:34:13

Partial overlapping of Russia, Denmark and Canada's territorial claims in the Arctic does not threaten peace in the region, Russian Ambassador-at-Large Vladimir Barbin has said.

Russia positions the Arctic as a territory of peace, and has agreements with other countries on resolving issues only through peaceful means, said Barbin on Monday at the 7th International Forum "The Arctic: Present and Future" held in St. Petersburg.

The three-day forum, which kicked off Monday, currently serves as the main mechanism of international cooperation in the Arctic region.

The total value of investment projects in the Russian Arctic region amounts to about 68 billion US dollars, which are infeasible without foreign investment, said Barbin, stressing the importance of international cooperation in promoting economic development of the Arctic.

Due to anti-Russian financial sanctions imposed by Western countries, Russia is looking for partners in the East. The Yamal LNG plant with Chinese investment is a perfect example of such partnership.

Launched in late 2013, the liquefied natural gas mega-project is located above the Arctic Circle and has a potential gas reserve of more than 900 billion cubic meters, slated to produce 16.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year starting from 2019.

As global warming melts the Arctic ice cover at a fast pace, the potential for lucrative resource deposits and shipping lanes has sparked a scramble over the control of the territories.

Under the international law, no country owns the North Pole or the region of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. The five surrounding Arctic states -- Russia, the United States (via Alaska), Canada, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland) -- are limited to a 200-nautical-mile (370 km) economic zone around their coasts.

But upon ratification of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, member states can claim more territory if scientific evidence proves certain areas to be an extension of their continental shelves.

Posted in: CROSS-BORDERS

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