Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2011

In Osteuropa 2-3/2011

Who Owns the Central Arctic?
Geology, Bathymetry, and Maritime Law

Karl Hinz

Deutsche Fassung


A number of countries bordering on the northern polar sea have claimed exclusive rights to mining raw materials in the central Arctic. The United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea determines which preconditions have to be fulfilled so that these claims are justified. If a coastal state wants to exercise sovereign rights over the continental shelf beyond 200 sea miles, it must provide bathymetric, geodesic, geophysical, and geological data showing that the natural extension of its territory stretches beyond this legally determined boundary. Russia has failed in an appeal to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, but is preparing a new appeal with better technical documentation.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2011, pp. 87–92)