Russia now claims that the arctic region is Russian territory, laying claim to oil, gas and mineral rights for the region. Under international law, no country owns the North Pole. Instead, the five surrounding Arctic states, Russia, the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark.
With each country being (via Greenland) limited to a 200-mile economic zone around their coasts.
Some commentators have already observed it is further evidence of growing Russian assertiveness under its authoritarian president.
The Russian media trumpeted the findings of a Moscow scientific mission to the region which boasts “sensational” geological discoveries enabling the Kremlin to make the territorial claim.
Populist newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda – a cheerleader for Putin – printed a map of the North Pole showing a “new addition” to Russia, a triangle five times the size of Britain with twice as much oil as Saudi Arabia.
The six-week mission on a nuclear ice-breaker claimed that the underwater Lomonsov ridge is geologically linked to the Siberian continental platform – and similar in structure.
Based on this Putin will not be invited to Disneyland for fear he will claim the happiest place on earth as Russian territory as well…