Government Reports on Russian continental shelf in the Sea of Okhotsk
OREANDA-NEWS. August 24, 2015. The resolution establishes that the seabed and underwater resources in the central part of the Sea of Okhotsk beyond the 200 nautical mile zone are part of the Russian Federation’s continental shelf.
The resolution was submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in keeping with the Russian President’s directives regarding the legalisation of Russia’s rights to the continental shelf in the northern and central parts of the Sea of Okhotsk (No. Pr-788 of 10 April 2014).
In accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (signed on 10 December 1982 at Montego Bay), coastal states establish the limits of the continental shelf based on the recommendations of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), as well as by depositing adjusted sea maps and other information describing changes in the limits of the shelf with the UN Secretary General. The limits of the shelf thus established are final and obligatory for all.
Russia submitted its application for the continental shelf in the Sea of Okhotsk in February 2013. This was preceded by years of work to provide comprehensive scientific substantiation for the application. Extensive consultations were also conducted with Japan.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment performed the role of the lead agency in finalising the application. It coordinated scientific research and data processing and was responsible for the preparation of the application and its presentation. Additional hydrographic work conducted in the autumn of 2013 by the Ministry of Defense also played an important role in the application’s successful outcome. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided diplomatic and legal support for this work on an international level.
In August 2013, an interagency delegation of the Russian Federation (formed in keeping with Government Resolution No 1380-r of 5 August 2013) officially presented the application to the Commission’s plenary session.
In 2014, the Commission granted the Russian application. As a result, Russia acquired the right to a section of the shelf (enclave) in the central part of the Sea of Okhotsk on an area of over 50,000 square kilometres.
The resolution establishes that the seabed and underwater resources in the central part of the Sea of Okhotsk beyond the 200 nautical mile zone are part of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, the relevant sea navigation charts will be adjusted and re-issued, and deposited with the UN Secretary General.