The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Russian Sector of the Arctic

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24237-8_440

Russian Sector of the Arctic. The concept of Arctic sectors was introduced in the nineteenth century by signing several international agreements and contracts (the Russian–American Treaty of 1824, the Anglo–Russian Convention of 1825, the Russian–American Treaty of 1867). The sector approach was established by the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union Resolution of April 15, 1926, “On declaring lands and islands situated in the Arctic Ocean the territory of the USSR.” This resolution defined the Soviet Arctic sector as the territory lying between longitude 32°04′35″E and longitude 168°49′30″W (excluding the eastern islands of the Svalbard Archipelago). By defining the borders of the sector, the USSR claimed its rights for all islands and lands, be they already discovered or going to be discovered within the sector in the future. Consequently, the closed sea, the continental shelf, and the exclusive economic zone were defined within the sector based on the general norms of international law and in compliance with the UN Law of the Sea Convention on 1982.

The Russian Arctic Sector covers the area of about 9.46 million km2, of which 6.8 million km2 present water areas which is 45 % of the total area of the Arctic Ocean. Within the sector the continental shelf occupies 6.19 million km2 or 41 % of all the Arctic water area. It should be noted that under the Arctic ice, there is the area of 5.14 million km2 (70 % of the sector) and under the pack ice there are 1.55 million km2 of them (23 % of the sector). The length of the Russian Arctic coast is 28,000 km (62,000 km including the islands). Only a small part of the coast is accessible and well explored.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016