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Russia To Submit Arctic Claims by Year's End

Published: January 24, 2013 (Issue # 1743)



  • Polar bears approaching the decommissioned USS Honolulu submarine 500 kilometers from the north pole.
    Photo: wikipedia.org

MOSCOW Thefederal government will submit its final Arctic territorial claims with theUnited Nations bythe end ofthe year, thecountry's leading Arctic scientist said.

Artur Chilingarov, theveteran explorer who led theexpedition toplant aRussian flag onthe seabed atthe North Pole in2007, told Rossia 24 television that Russia's claim toa portion ofthe Arctic shelf would be filed with theUnited Nations Commission onthe Law ofthe Sea byDecember.

"I think we are seriously prepared," he said. "We have gathered all thenecessary information needed tomake ajust decision, including theexperience ofother countries."

Chilingarov led aseries ofexpeditions over thepast few years seeking toprove that theundersea Lomonosov Ridge is anextension ofRussia's continental shelf.

If approved, theclaim based onthis research would see Russia gain anadditional 1.2 million square kilometers ofexclusive economic zone, Interfax reported.

Chilingarov's announcement came thesame day thegovernment published anew long-term strategy forArctic development.

TheState Program forthe Arctic, which defines government policy forat least thenext eight years, was published onthe Regional Development Ministry's website Wednesday. Expert opinions onthe draft are being accepted until Jan. 29.

Thelaw would establish amandatory review ofany business activities that could pose anenvironmental hazard, starting froma "presumption ofenvironmental danger ofany proposed activity," RIA-Novosti reported.

Inother provisions, thelaw would bar theprivatization ofany airlines inthe region andallow certain regions tobe closed toaircraft forenvironmental reasons. It would also ban off-road travel inthe tundra.

While thedocument does make note ofthe need todefend theregion, it does not directly mention rumored plans toclose areas like theYamal Peninsula tononresidents.

Thestrategy also suggests that Russian domination ofthe Arctic Sea Route be written intoa law, with astipulation that atleast 70 percent ofships operating inthe region should be Russian.

It does, however, talk about allocating state financing forthe "development andimplementation ofprograms toattract foreign investment tothe Arctic zone."

Thenew strategy, which will define state policy forthe region forPresident Vladimir Putin's current presidential term andbeyond, was published shortly after theUnited Nations Environment Program unveiled plans fora $300 million, five-year environmental undertaking inthe area.

UNEP Moscow chief Vladimir Moshkalo said theRussian government had asked his agency tooversee development ofthe program, which will be co-funded byagencies including theEconomic Development Ministry, theEnvironment andNatural Resources Ministry, theWorld Bank andthe European Bank forReconstruction andDevelopment.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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