Why Gorbachev gave the United States 23 thousand sq. km. the territory of the USSR

Another 07/02/20 Why Gorbachev gave the United States 23 thousand sq. km. the territory of the USSR

In the press from time to time there appear reports that in the days of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union voluntarily gave the U.S. some areas in the Bering and Chukchi seas.

Evaluation of the State Duma of Russia

Since this is the sea, that speech can go not about the territories, but only about areas. However, these waters include the coastal shelf, which is a continuation of the continent. However, the shelf here equally Asian and North American, since the minimum depth of the Bering Strait is 36 metres.
In 1990, the Minister of foreign Affairs of the USSR Eduard Shevardnadze and U.S. Secretary of state James Baker signed the agreement on the delimitation in the Bering sea and the Arctic ocean. In September 1991, it was ratified by the U.S. Congress. In the USSR, the ratification of this agreement has not been set.
In 2002 the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a resolution stating that “unreasonably assigned area of the exclusive economic zone of the USSR” amounted to 31.4 thousand sq. km. in addition, in the open Central part of the Bering sea USA were part of the continental shelf area of 46.3 thousand square kilometers, whereas inherited the Soviet Union (and subsequently Russia), the area of the continental shelf in this part of the sea has an area of only 4.6 thousand sq. km. Duma called the conditions of this division are contrary to the UN Convention on the law of the sea 1982.

the Stages of the establishment of the border

When in 1867 the Russian Empire sold their American possessions to the United States, the border was drawn between the nearest Islands. In the Bering Strait – halfway between the Islands Ratmanov (in the Russian part) and Krusenstern (in) in the archipelago of Diomede. To the South of US departed St. Lawrence island, and the border was established between him and the Cape Chucotskim. Where the Bering sea becomes the Pacific ocean, and the arc of the Aleutian Islands stretching from Alaska to Kamchatka, Russia remained the commander Islands. There the border was carried out midway between Copper island in the Komandor Islands and the island of Attu in the Aleutian archipelago. No differentiation of open Maritime space is not required a very long time.

In 1926 the Presidium of the CEC of the USSR unilaterally declared the “polar possessions of the USSR”. From the American side of their border went due North along the Meridian of the Strait between the Islands of Ratmanov and Krusenstern.
the majority of the countries having possessions and interests in the Arctic, has never recognized the unilaterally held the border “polar possessions of the USSR”. So, in the Chukchi sea, it took place much closer to US shores than to the shores of the USSR. Accordingly, the United States did not agree with this line.
In 1976, the world countries began to establish its sovereignty over 200-mile exclusive economic zone in the seas around their shores. Then, according to the State Duma of Russia, the Soviet Union voluntarily gave US the waters of its exclusive economic zone with an area of 7700 sq. km. It was the plot of “polar possessions of the USSR”, who invaded the 200-mile economic zone of the United States.

In 1990, he held the agreement of the Baker—Shevardnadze, according to which the USSR gave the United States another of 23.7 thousand square km of their economic zones and the delineation was conducted in the Central part of the Bering sea, in which the area of shelf ceded to the U.S., ten times higher than the share in it of the Soviet Union.

the Damage to Russia

When you define a border in the Bering sea in 1990 for was based on the so-called “median line”. Her held, without regard to the configuration of the coast, a straight line between previously established plots the Maritime boundary between the two countries.
According to the State Duma and the expert community, to justify and support its decision, this border is cut from the USSR, the areas lying closer than 200 miles to the shores of the USSR (RRussia). On these sites, however, the Soviet Union (Russia) has the full right.

Some Russian lawmakers and experts indicate that the assignment of United States these areas have caused the Russian economy to the detriment (in the form of lost profits from doing there crafts) in the amount of several billion dollars. Sounding the alarm about planned oil production on the shelf of the Bering and Chukchi seas, areas where the United States has sold various companies.

the Invalidity of the agreement

In a public campaign against the agreement of the Baker—Shevardnadze special emphasis is placed on two circumstances. The first legislature neither the USSR nor the Russian Federation has not ratified this agreement. Consequently, indicate to his opponents, it should be placed for ratification (assuming it will fail). Until then, Russia is not obliged to carry it out.

the Second circumstance – when signing the agreement violated the norms of legislation of the USSR. According to Nikolai Ryzhkov, who headed at that time the Soviet Government, the agreement was a personal matter Shevardnadze, it was not prepared and was not discussed in the Government of the USSR. It is, however, unconvincing. After all, if Ryzhkov at the time was against this agreement, he, by the return of Shevardnadze, was obliged to raise the question about resignation of the Minister of foreign Affairs, have exceeded their powers, and if I hadn’t met in this support from colleagues, was obliged to resign himself.

the Arguments of the American side

However, legitimate to talk about “the assignment”? Agreement of 1990 was the first razgranicheniia controversial areas water areas of the Bering and Chukchi seas. Up to this point, the Soviet Union did not exercise any legal or de facto sovereignty over those waters, which now claim some circles of Russia in connection with the implementation of the Baker—Shevardnadze.
the 200-mile economic zones of Russia and the United States in the Bering sea for the most part mutually perekryvaetI. Unilateral interpretation of these overlapping areas as the Russian is opposed to the same interpretation of them as American.

the Congress of Alaska, meanwhile, insists that, with the agreement of the Baker—Shevardnadze were not taken into account the interests of the state. In the resolution adopted by the local legislators in 1999, said, what is the status of the disputed Islands, Komandorsky Zapovednik, Wrangel and some other, smaller, lying in the Bering and Chukchi seas. About these Islands supposedly nothing was said in the Russian-American Convention of 1867, and therefore Russian sovereignty over these Islands illegally.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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