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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arctic Claim Will Be Filed by Year's End

Russia will file a claim to the gigantic mineral wealth of the Arctic seabed with the United Nations by the end of the year, Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said Tuesday.

Moscow says a whole swathe of the Arctic seabed should belong to Russia because the area is really an extension of the Siberian continental shelf.

Trutnev told Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio that Russia would submit its claim to the UN this year, according to a transcript of the interview supplied by his ministry.

"We can hardly start the economic exploitation of this territory, which is beyond Russia's borders, without the agreement of other countries, without the agreement of the UN," Trutnev said.

"The scientists think that the data for submitting a claim is sufficient. We will fight for Russia's right to this plot," he said, adding that the bid would be ready by the end of the year.

Russia is in a race with Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States to control the giant reserves of oil, gas and precious metals that would become more accessible if global warming shrinks the ice cap.

Russian officials say the Lomonosov Ridge, a big underwater mountain range that runs underneath the Arctic, is an extension of the Siberian continental shelf.

A Russian expedition under the North Pole this August took samples of the seabed and planted a Russian flag.

Trutnev said current Russian official estimates were of up to 5 billion tons of hydrocarbon resources.