Russia Plants Flag… under the North Pole.

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Image courtesy of the B.B.C.

According to the B.B.C. . The reason why?  Resources, specifically oil. Global Warming has resulted in the ice becoming thinner, meaning the potential to exploit oil reserves under the sea is becoming more cost effective; of course, our known supplies of oil are also running out, any country in the future with control of huge reserves is likely to have immense political power.

Unlike Antarctica, which is internationally protected, the Arctic region, which is sea, is contested by Russia, the US, Canada and Denmark. According to international law, countries can have an economic zone of two hundred nautical miles from their coastline, but the ‘zone can be extended where a country can prove that the structure of the continental shelf is similar to the geological structure within its territory.’ Russia claims that the Lomonosov Ridge is part of their territory, this extends under the North Pole. Ironically it seems that Canada and Denmark could also claim extended territory using the Lomonosov Ridge.

A contested extreme environment, and potentially a situation with political and economic consequences.

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