Russia ups the ante in the race for the Arctic

August 4, 2015, 2:06 PM UTC
Russian President Vladimir Putin salutes
PLESETSK, RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Russian President Vladimir Putin salutes officers 18 February, 2004 shortly after his arrival at the observation point of the Artic cosmodrome in Plesetsk, where he came to watch the launch of spacecraft Molnia, carrying a military spy satelite on board. AFP PHOTO / MAXIM MARMUR (Photo credit should read MAXIM MARMUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia is not giving up in its bid to claim as much of the Arctic as it can.

Eight years after literally placing a flag via submarine on the seabed of the North Pole, Russia announced that it has submitted a formal claim to Arctic territory to the United Nations.

According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the country is claiming 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea shelf. Last year, according to the Moscow Times, the Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister said the forthcoming claim would contain about 5 billion tons of oil and gas resources.

As global warming causes the Arctic ice cap to melt, more of the previously unchartered territory has become accessible. Russia is jockeying with Canada, the United States, Denmark, and Norway to claim the territory that could hold almost a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas.

Russia already submitted Arctic claims to the United Nations in 2002, but those were rejected due to lack of evidence. Denmark and Canada have also staked claims to Arctic territory, citing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.