Russia – key statements

Date: 10 November 2022

March 2023


  • We would like to emphasize that we should work carefully on the Rules, Regulations and Procedures – we need to provide for Art. 145 and for effective inspections and for benefit sharing.
  • We think it is premature to move to exploitation without Rules, Regulations and Procedures.


  • Russia confirmed that the commercial production from deep-sea mining is premature before the adoption of rules, regulations and procedures. We need the adequate protection of marine environment, including a full set of standards and guidelines.
  • Russia will work constructively with all stakeholders and discuss all possible options.


  • Called for regulations to refer to ‘serious harm’ (many States and observers have warned that this is too high a threshold in line with UNCLOS Article 5)


  • Echoed comments by DSCC, DOSI and Germany that restoration to original state is not possible

October/November 2022


  • Do not believe we can move into exploitation without robust regulations. 
  • Emphasized that the exploitation of mineral resources should be done in the interests of all countries, including developing countries. 


  • The delegation stated that the completion and agreement of regulations need more time, much more than 8 months remaining until July 2023.


  • On standardizing the procedure for development and approval of REMPs, the delegated stated that the draft text was not sufficient for adoption.
  • On the northern Mid Atlantic Ridge REMP, the delegation stated that there is a conflict between the rights of the contractor and the provisions that the active hydrothermal ecosystem located within the current exploration area will be protected from any direct or indirect impact or the development of such resources. They are assigned the status of the sites in need of protection, yet, formally, the plan does not prohibit the contractor from continuing their exploration of work in their areas, including the actor of active harm hydrothermal damp areas.
  • The delegation also added that to be realistic, the contractor does the work not just for itself but in order to move to exploitation in the future.

July/August 2022


  • “We need to think well, not procrastinate, so not be excessively slow. I would like to thank Costa Rica for a solid legal remark which was very well founded. We also agree with the message that in the case of a dispute we would need to refer the issue to the ITLOS.”


  • Russia supported Belgium’s proposal on contractors.


  • The Russian delegation stated that “Along with the Antarctic, atmosphere, and space, the world ocean became a sphere where international governance has been imposed. Large reserves of mineral resources – development potential not fully realized. Minerals such as nodules are only found in the oceans. Will lead to meeting demand of whole range of industries and facilitate more friendly sources of energy.”


  • Asked who would pay for damage to the marine environment if a contractor doesn’t have any funds to cover the damage.


  • The delegation agreed with Costa Rica and others that “indeed it is impossible to offset the harmful effect on the environment”. They continued “However, if any effect is sustained by the region, perhaps the contractor may offset that by taking action. So, to protect the coral reefs in another part of the global ocean, so, this is a type of an offset so, offsetting measures be taken elsewhere therefore, perhaps as far as offset is concerned”
  • The delegation also queried whether “we should give an alternative is that no deep sea mining is done at all.”
  • Russia also stated that “it is evident that some of the guidelines must be adopted before any plan of work is accepted and of course before exploitation. Without standards and guidelines, there will be nothing protecting those areas.”


  • Russia stated that “We should provide for the protection of the marine environment from possible consequences of the processing of extracted minerals, but we think that this would exceed the mandate of this authority. This authority should act in the area, and in the area, we can only do exploration and exploitation”
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