Several countries like Russia, Canada, and Norway have laid claims to parts of the Arctic in the North Pole, but Denmark has joined the fray and this could cause an international rift that might strain diplomatic relations among neighboring countries in the region.
These countries are not laying claims to parts of the Arctic because they love the polar ice cap, but essentially because of possible access to untapped natural energy. A research conducted by the US reveals that about 30% of the Earth’s undiscovered gas might be within the Arctic, and almost 13% of its oil may be resident within the region.
Denmark made a formal claim to a section of the Arctic North Pole after submitting its intention to the UN, just as required within 10 years of ratifying the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although the shifting ice currently going on in the region may cause diplomatic tensions, Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Martin Lidegaard, gave assurances that the legal and political worries over the 900,000 square kilometer area are already settled.
“We are in no way going beyond what the technical or scientific data tells us. And I’m not worried that this will be regarded as an act of aggression by any states,” said Lidegaard. But over fears that demands made by Canada, Russia, and Norway over the area can overlap, he states that “The Russians and Canadians will make their claims, and over a number of years these will be investigated. If there is an eventual overlap where countries are claiming rights to the same territory, then we’ll have to negotiate an agreement bilaterally.”
Russia is already contending to construct a new military base out in the Arctic, but Denmark maintains that the research it conducted into the area provided that 2,000 kilometers of continental ridge within the Arctic belongs to Greenland, which is a territory of Denmark, and so the cold region automatically belongs to Denmark.
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