- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Russia, while still digesting its meal of Crimea, is taking another bite at expanding its sovereignty by laying claim Tuesday to the North Pole and a large area of the Arctic Ocean — an area involving oil and gas drilling as well as fishing.

The Russian Foreign Ministry submitted its request on Tuesday to the United Nations committee that arbitrates sea boundaries.

The Arctic Ocean has attracted other countries, including the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway, and exposed rivalries over resources such as untapped oil and gas.

Russia made a bid in 2002, but the U.N. committee rejected it because of a lack of evidence.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had “ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research” to back up its revised bid and its claim over the area, The Associated Press reported.

If the decision is accepted by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, Russia’s boundaries by land and sea would expand by 1.2 million square kilometers, or about 463,000 square miles.

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The report to the U.N. committee was compiled and submitted by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; the Federal Agency on Mineral Resources; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Defence; the Department of Navigation and Oceanography; and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

When Russia was part of the Soviet Union, it signed the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea on Dec. 10, 1982, which was then ratified on Feb. 26, 1997.

Based in part on wire reports.

• Maria Stainer can be reached at mstainer@washingtontimes.com.

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