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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

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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