United States – Russian Maritime Boundary and Exclusive Economic Zones

Russia – United States Maritime Boundary [Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea]

This de facto agreement stems from the 1990 USSR – United States Maritime Agreement, and before that the United States – Russia Convention of March 18/30, 1867.  As the boundary extends North along the 168 58′ 37″ W meridian through the Bering Straight and Chukchi Sea, the southern trajectory is a tad more complex.  Commonly displayed as a straight line with origins in the Bering Straight, heading toward, and then between Copper Island (Остров Медный) and Attu Island; this conception is certainly not true.

Due to the fact that neither party had mentioned whether or not the ‘straight line’ between the two masses was to be Mercator or conformal (after the sale of Alaska to the United States), a new disputed territory was formed (the difference between the Mercator and conformal lines).  1990 resolved the issue, and resulted in the non-linear border that we now see today as the difference between the two lines were split.  The United States, however, gained a much larger section of the disputed part of the Bering Sea than did the USSR.  Before the USSR was able to ratify, it collapsed, leaving a somewhat unclear conclusion.  The United States, to this day, patrols this area to ensure that the seemingly agreed upon agreement is upheld.

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