Thursday, August 02, 2007

Does Russia Own the North Pole?

In a move that hearkens back to the days of Columbus and Magellan (the Canadian Foreign Minister snarkily quipped "this isn't the 15th century"), a Russian crew has trekked to the bottom of the ocean at the North Pole and planted the Russian flag in the ocean floor. Why, you ask?

Melting polar ice has led to competing claims over access to Arctic resources.

Russia's claim to a vast swathe of territory in the Arctic, thought to contain oil, gas and mineral reserves, has been challenged by several other powers, including the US.
This was, reportedly, the first expedition of it's kind. Still, that Canadian official isn't impressed:
You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory',' he said.
The Russians's claim stems from an undersea ridge that they claim is an extension of Russian oversea territory.

1 comment:

jedijawa said...

Of course, we're ones to talk since we took much of North America as "discovered land" despite the fact that the natives who were living here already had surely discovered it first.