1 1Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia; Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary, Canada
The Russian submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) provides an excellent example of the difficulty faced by Arctic states in relation to their rights and claims as coastal states. The geology and geography of the Arctic submarine environment are complex and poorly understood. Political maritime boundaries for this semi-enclosed sea are incomplete. The agreed boundaries do not take into consideration the full potential of the legal continental shelves. Viewed against continental shelf issues, possible maritime boundary delimitations and the rights of states to engage in regional initiatives, it is apparent that the Russian submission has not prejudiced the rights of other states. Although the two functions are inherently related, the ability to delimit boundaries with adjacent and opposite states remains separate from the process undertaken by the CLCS.