Russia and Canada continue to battle over land claims in the Arctic as both nations scramble to gain evidence of rightful ownership before the decision is ultimately left with the UN.
The two Arctic nations claim that the Lomonosov Ridge, a mountain chain running underneath the Arctic, is an extension of their continental shelf. The ridge stretches across from Ellesmere Island to Siberia.
Due to global warming and polar caps melting, access to the ridge is becoming more of an immediate reality than expected with researchers estimating the region could be ice free by 2030. This has both nations eyeing the natural resources associated with the territory and asking that their northern borders be extended to include the area.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Russian minister Sergey Lavrov are meeting in Moscow to discuss the dispute with matching comments coming from both sides.
"We are confident that our case will prevail backed by scientific evidence," Cannon said at a news conference after the talks.
This was countered by Lavrov’s claim that Russia's data would "provide a scientific proof that it's an extension of our continental shelf."
Russia has gone so far to stake their claim by placing its flag on the ocean floor of the underwater region back in 2007.
Russia and Canada are not alone in their battle to divide the rest of the massive Arctic territory. Denmark, Norway and the United States are all scrambling to provide scientific evidence that parts of Arctic land are inherently theirs. Land disputes are reaching right to the tip of the North Pole.
Despite claims by the Federal Government of Canada that fighting for Arctic land is a top priority; analysts warn that Canada is lagging behind other nations in the race for the arctic resources.
"Everyone else is sorting out their differences, we really are the laggards," said Michael Byers, who holds the Global Politics and International Law chair at the University of British Columbia.
On Wednesday, Norway and Russia came to terms over a large area in the Barent Sea, essentially splitting the territory down the middle. Ottawa, meanwhile, has been putting off signing similar agreements with the United States over the Alaskan border and with Denmark over the maritime boundary between Baffin Island and Greenland.
Questions surrounding the possible Canadian militarization of the land were shrugged off by Cannon who insists Canada is strictly looking to “assert sovereignty” over the area.