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Arctic is for all, Moscow says

MOSCOW, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A forum for the nations bordering the arctic is meant to bolster international cooperation in the under-explored region, Russian scientists said.

With sea ice receding in part because of global climate change, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia are examining territorial claims to the arctic as once-trapped hydrocarbons become more exposed.

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Yury Mazurov, an environmental scientist at Moscow State University, said the arctic is become part of the world's heritage.

"The arctic's nature ... is becoming the common heritage of not only circumpolar countries but of the entire mankind," he was quoted by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Moscow is trying to convince the international community that it has a greater claim to the arctic. A 1982 convention gives bordering nations the right to extend arctic claims if the government can prove its continental shelf extends beyond a 200-mile limit.

The Russian Geographical Society, which is organizing the meeting, is working on a new comprehensive atlas of the arctic, said RGS President Sergei Shoigu. He said the atlas would highlight potentially dangerous areas of the region.

"We will start in the near future and, I hope, will be able to present the atlas at the next arctic forum," he said.

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