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Law must decide Arctic ownership: Russia

MOSCOW — The battle for the Arctic’s vast reserves of oil and gas can only be decided by international law, Russia and Denmark said after talks on Thursday.

Five countries with an Arctic coastline — Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark through its control of Greenland — have competing claims to the region.

Russia said this week it would respond to any moves to militarize the Arctic. It has stepped up its own patrols there.

Arguing that an underwater ridge links Siberia with the Arctic, Russia plans to claim a vast section of the seabed — with a estimated total of 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30% of undiscovered gas.

“All problems in the Arctic, including climate change and reducing ice cover, can successfully be considered and resolved within specially created international organizations such as the Arctic Council,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news briefing after meeting his Danish counterpart in Moscow.

National Post

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