The Arctic until now has been considered international territory. Nations with land bordering the Arctic Ocean, including the United States, reject Moscow's contention that the area could belong to Russia. Denmark, which controls Greenland, is cooperating with Canada in arguing that the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of North America, not Russia."
|There is growing optimism about the Arctic maritime passage that runs across the top of Russia from the Bering Straits to the north Atlantic due to global warming (12 July 2007 file photo from Russia's Chukotka region)|
A Russian naval expedition is sailing toward the North Pole to explore the bottom of the Arctic Ocean in an effort to stake Moscow's claim to territory that may contain significant undersea deposits of oil and natural gas. VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky has this report from the Russian capital.
The ship's mission is to prove that large areas of the Arctic belong to Russia. Moscow contends that a large undersea geological formation in the area, known as the Lomonosov Ridge, is an extension of continental Russia. According to international law, nations may claim control of areas within 320 kilometers of their continental shelves.