MOSCOW (Reuters) – Samples of earth taken by Russians who planted a flag on the seabed below the North Pole last month show beyond doubt the Arctic is Russian, its natural resources ministry said on Thursday. The Arctic 2007 expedition was the first to plant a flag on the seabed directly below the North Pole and it symbolically claimed the area, which geologists believe is rich in minerals and energy deposits, for the Kremlin. Now Russia says the scientific evidence cements their claims and they will present it to the United Nations. Other countries aspiring to own the Arctic seabed have rushed to reiterate their own claims before a May 2009 deadline.

“We have received preliminary data from an analysis of models of the earth’s crust from Arctic 2007 which confirms that the Lomonosov Ridge … is part of the adjoining continental shelf of the Russian Federation,” the statement said.

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