Thursday, Feb 22 2024
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The Eastern Section of the Great Vasyugan Mire has been nominated for the Unesco World Heritage List'

Russia gains vast new area twice the size of Crimea with 'the energy riches of an Ali Baba's cave'

By 0 and 0 and 0
16 March 2014


'A real Ali Baba's cave in terms of resources'. Picture: Vladimir Serebryanskiy

The Siberian land mass is officially 52,000 square kilometres bigger after an enclave in the Sea of Okhotsk was recognised as part of Russia's continental shelf. The decision comes from the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

'This water area of the Sea of Okhotsk has many biological and natural resources, which have not considered as the main income source of the country's economy and now we can consider and include it in our long-term plans,' said Sergei Donskoy, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology.

The underwater area is roughly the size of Holland and Belgium combined.

The treasure trove includes hydrocarbon resources exceeding one billion tonnes, believes Donskoy. He has described it in the past as 'a real Ali Baba's cave in terms of resources', adding that access will long-term bring 'enormous opportunities and prospects for the Russian economy'.

Moscow sent a request in 2001 for the entire continental shelf, including the Arctic shelf, which the UN rejected demanding more data and evidence that the enclave is the natural continuation of the Russian territory. The decision, released at the weekend, is a first step in a Russian campaign to claim huge new rights based on the Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges being extensions of the Siberian continental shelves. 

If approved, Russia would gain 1.2 million square kilometres of Arctic territorial waters.

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy



Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory



The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies