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Russia rejects US sea annexations

American plans would violate international law, Moscow has said

Moscow does not recognize Washington’s attempt to illegally claim over a million square kilometers of maritime territory, including in the Arctic and the Bering Sea, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

Russian representatives informed the Council of the International Seabed Authority of this on Monday. The council is currently meeting in Kingston, Jamaica and operates under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The US is “unilaterally trying to reduce the area of ​​the seabed under the Authority, and hence the entire international community,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The US Department of State announced its “extended continental shelf” project in December 2023, claiming jurisdiction of approximately one million square kilometers beyond its territorial waters. The UNCLOS allows maritime claims of up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the shore in the world’s oceans.

“These unilateral steps by the US do not conform to the rules and procedures established by international law,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, noting that it “blocked Washington’s latest attempt to use the 1982 Convention exclusively to advance its own interests.”

UNCLOS allows the possibility for expanding a country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) if it can prove that the continental shelf extends past the 200-mile limit, but countries have to submit a petition through the proper channels, as Russia did in 2015.

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Big war in the Arctic: How could it happen?

Moscow accused Washington of “focusing on its rights and completely ignoring its obligations” when it comes to international law. Even though it was involved in crafting the UNCLOS, the US has never ratified it.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the note in which Moscow refused to recognize the US continental shelf claims has already been delivered to Washington “through bilateral channels.”

Maps published by the State Department show the US claiming territory in six areas, including in the Arctic and the Bering Sea along the maritime boundary with Russia. The Arctic claim goes 350-680 nautical miles beyond the 200-mile line, while the Bering Sea claim goes approximately 340 nautical miles east.

Washington also wants to appropriate portions of the seabed north of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean, as well as off the west coast of California.

In the Atlantic, the US has claimed a wide swath of seabed beyond its 200-mile line, as well as two sections of the Gulf of Mexico along the boundary with Mexico and Cuba.

American plans would violate international law, Moscow has said

Moscow does not recognize Washington’s attempt to illegally claim over a million square kilometers of maritime territory, including in the Arctic and the Bering Sea, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

Russian representatives informed the Council of the International Seabed Authority of this on Monday. The council is currently meeting in Kingston, Jamaica and operates under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The US is “unilaterally trying to reduce the area of ​​the seabed under the Authority, and hence the entire international community,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The US Department of State announced its “extended continental shelf” project in December 2023, claiming jurisdiction of approximately one million square kilometers beyond its territorial waters. The UNCLOS allows maritime claims of up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the shore in the world’s oceans.

“These unilateral steps by the US do not conform to the rules and procedures established by international law,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, noting that it “blocked Washington’s latest attempt to use the 1982 Convention exclusively to advance its own interests.”

UNCLOS allows the possibility for expanding a country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) if it can prove that the continental shelf extends past the 200-mile limit, but countries have to submit a petition through the proper channels, as Russia did in 2015.

Read more

Big war in the Arctic: How could it happen?

Moscow accused Washington of “focusing on its rights and completely ignoring its obligations” when it comes to international law. Even though it was involved in crafting the UNCLOS, the US has never ratified it.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the note in which Moscow refused to recognize the US continental shelf claims has already been delivered to Washington “through bilateral channels.”

Maps published by the State Department show the US claiming territory in six areas, including in the Arctic and the Bering Sea along the maritime boundary with Russia. The Arctic claim goes 350-680 nautical miles beyond the 200-mile line, while the Bering Sea claim goes approximately 340 nautical miles east.

Washington also wants to appropriate portions of the seabed north of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean, as well as off the west coast of California.

In the Atlantic, the US has claimed a wide swath of seabed beyond its 200-mile line, as well as two sections of the Gulf of Mexico along the boundary with Mexico and Cuba.

 

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