Saturday, March 15, 2014

UN Commission recognises Sea of Okhotsk enclave part of Russia

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has recognized the Sea of Okhotsk enclave with an area of 52,000 part of the Russian continental shelf, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergey Donskoy told Russian journalists today.

He said that the ministry has received a formal certificate from the UN Commission satisfying Russia’s appeal to recognize the enclave in the Sea of Okhotsk part of the Russian shelf. This is an actually acknowledged fact and I can congratulate everyone, the minister said.

Answering an Itar-Tass correspondent’s question, the minister stressed that the decision on the enclave is final and not subject to revision. Now the enclave is fully under Russia’s jurisdiction, the minister said.

According to geologists’ estimates, the total volume of oil and gas fields prospected in that area exceeds a billion tons.
  • UN sub-commission recognizes Sea of Okhotsk enclave as part of Russia's continental shelf

A UN sub-commission has agreed with the arguments presented by Russia and has recognized a 52,000-square-kilometer enclave in the middle of the Sea of Okhotsk as a part of Russia's continental shelf, the Russian Natural Resources Ministry said in a press release.

The UN sub-commission will now draw up appropriate recommendations for the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and present them at the next, 33rd, session of the commission in February-March 2014.

The judicial procedures confirming the enclave's belonging to the Russian continental shelf will be finalized after the commission's board endorses these recommendations, the ministry said.

The inclusion of the Sea of Okhotsk enclave in Russia's continental shelf will establish Russia's exclusive rights to the enclave's subsoil resources and seabed.

The territory of the enclave, which is still legally a part of the world ocean, will be regulated by Russian laws concerning the continental shelf.

  • It means that the Sea of Okhotsk will be fully recognized by the international community as Russia's internal sea, to which Russian requirements for fishing, security and environmental protection will be applied.

Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi was quoted as saying by the press release that "it took Russia many years to achieve this success."

"Thanks to recognition of this enclave as a part of the Russian continental shelf, our country will gain more reserves of valuable minerals and other natural resources.

  • This 52,000-square-kilometer territory is a real Ali Baba's cave in terms of resources. Access to it will open up enormous opportunities and prospects for the Russian economy," the minister said.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax
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