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            august 23, 2019

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Canada applies to extend its sovereignty to North Pole


Canada has applied to the UN to extend its sovereignty over Arctic waters to the North Pole in the same way Russia has in the face of US claims that ships are entitled to unrestricted passage without having to comply with national law.
Like Russia's, Canada's claim, covering more than 460,000 square miles, is now lodged with UN's Geneva-based Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, reports Anchorage's Arctic Today.
"Defining our continental shelf is vital to ensuring our sovereignty and to serving the interests of all people in the Arctic," said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Canada filed a continental shelf submission with the commission in which Russia and Denmark were included.
Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, coastal states have sovereignty over waters extending 12 nautical miles beyond their coastlines and exclusive economic and environmental rights over waters 200 nautical miles from shore.
But a nation can also seek jurisdiction over undersea features that stretch beyond the 200 nautical mile limit - if it can prove those features are an extension of its continental shelf.
Canada provided scientific evidence that such geological or geographical features in the water, like seamounts and underwater ridges, are in fact connected to its continental shelf.
Canada collected data on the seafloor through multi-beam bathymetry, seismic reflection and other techniques on 17 research trips in the Arctic. Canada often collaborated with other nations, including Denmark, Sweden, the United States and Germany, to conduct the work.
The final submission with this data numbered some 2,100 pages. Along with Russia and Denmark, Canada included in its submission the Lomonosov Ridge, a 1,100-mile underwater ridge that extends across the Arctic Ocean from the New Siberian Islands to Ellesmere Island.

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