Russia has no territorial claims to Antarctica: Ivanov

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Moscow, Mar 11 (UNI) Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov today denied that Russia had any territorial claims over Antarctica, saying it will strictly abide by an international convention on the continent.

''Russia is one of the participants of the Antarctica Treaty and the international convention clearly regulates basically two activities- Science and Transportation,'' Mr Ivanov told reporters during his visit to Antarctica.

The use of Antarctica is currently governed by the 1959 Antarctica Treaty, which bans sovereignty claims to the continent.

''Russia will strictly abide by these agreements and has no plans to initiate any territorial claims,'' RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

''We share the same position as the United States. Antarctica is the property of the whole of mankind and only scientific research experiments should be held here,'' he added.

Russia has, however, recently been active in the Arctic, where in the last years only two mini-subs made a symbolic eight-hour dive beneath the North Pole to bolster the country's claim to a large swathe of sea-bed believed to be rich in oil and gas.

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