US ratification of UNCLOS will not boost capacity to challenge Russian claims, disputes likely to be resolved outside of convention
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Other Nations' Claims to the Arctic Seabed. If the Senate ratified UNCLOS, thereby making the United States a party to the treaty, the United States would have no additional grounds on which to contest Russia's CLCS claim, because the CLCS does not settle disputes among nations with competing claims. Thus, U.S. participation in the UNCLOS regime would add nothing to its legal argument that it is permitted to mine the seabed and navigate the waters that Russia is attempting to claim. UNCLOS does not provide a compulsory dispute resolution technique, and because a dispute among nations is likely to arise, it is probable that the rights to the resources of the Arctic will be decided outside of its framework.
"Don't be Left out in the Cold: An Argument for Advancing American Interests in the Arctic Outside the Ambits of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
." Georgia Law Review
. (2007-2008): 833-865. [ More (6 quotes) ]
The U.S. can exercise its rights under the 1958 Convention on the High Seas to assert that it is permitted to mine and navigate in its Extended Continental Shelf. Ratifying UNCLOS would constrict the ability of the U.S. to respond to challenges to these rights by forcing all further negotiation to occur through the CLCS.
Strategic environment and level of cooperation between Russia and the United States in the Arctic will be based on the state of their bilateral relations in general, and not on the U.S. decision of whether or not to ratify the UN Law of the Sea.