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Sub Plants Flag, Claims North Pole For Russia

From those Russophiles at Reuters:

Russian sub plants flag under North Pole

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian explorers dived deep below the North Pole in a submersible on Thursday and planted a national flag on the seabed to stake a symbolic claim to the energy riches of the Arctic.

A mechanical arm dropped a specially made rust-proof titanium flag onto the Arctic seabed at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,980 ft), Itar-Tass news agency quoted expedition officials as saying.

Russia wants to extend right up to the North Pole the territory it controls in the Arctic, believed to hold vast reserves of untapped oil and natural gas.

But Canada mocked Russia’s ambitions and said the expedition was nothing more than a show.

“This isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory’,” Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay told CTV television.

Under international law, the five states with territory inside the Arctic Circle — Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States and Denmark via its control of Greenland — have a 320 km (200 mile) economic zone around the north of their coastline.

Russia is claiming a larger slice extending as far as the pole because, Moscow says, the Arctic seabed and Siberia are linked by one continental shelf.

“Then Russia can give foundation to its claim to more than a million square kilometers of the oceanic shelf,” said a newsreader for Russia’s state news channel Vesti-24, which made the expedition their top news story…

It sounds like a joke, but the Russians are serious.

“This isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory'”…

To people like Mr. Putin, might always makes right.

  Update!

But as Gila Monster rightly points out in the comments, the Russkies are almost a hundred years late:

http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=94559&rendTypeId=4

Robert Peary and his expedition planted the Stars and Stripes at the North Pole on April 6, 1909.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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