The giveaway of 8 American Alaskan islands and vast resource-rich seabeds to the Russians is underway by the U.S. State Department in the guise of an agreement on a maritime boundary between Alaska and Siberia.
In the mid-1970s countries adopted the concept of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and fishery conservation zones extending 200 nautical miles from their coastlines. If two countries are within 400 miles of each other, they need to negotiate a division of the seabeds by a “maritime boundary”. It is usually some variation of an equidistant line between the two coastlines. For the U.S. this has been necessary vis-a-vis Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Russia, among others.
The seabeds between Alaska and Siberia are enormous: hundreds of thousands of square miles. The distance between the two countries at the Bering Strait is less than three miles between Little Diomede Island (U.S./Alaska) and Big Diomede Island (Russia).
The State Department with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the end of the Ford Administration unilaterally proposed to the Soviets in January 1977 an unfortunately concessionary maritime boundary line. It was based on part of a line described in the 1867
treaty between the U.S. and Russia. [See 1867 Treaty.] Generally this part of the line starts midway between Attu Island and Copper Island in the Aleutian Island, proceeds northeast for about 1000 miles to a midpoint between Little Diomede Island and Big Diomede Island, and then turns due north into the Arctic Ocean.
The problem is that this line places on the Russian side 8 American Alaskan islands along with their 200-mile seabeds. It amounts to a giveaway of not only the land territory, but also
hundreds of thousands of square miles of seabeds to the Russians. (See shaded area of map below.) There is no quid pro quo for the American public or for the State of Alaska. These seabeds are rich in oil, gas, fisheries, and other resources worth billions of dollars. The oil and gas potential is measured in the billions of barrels. The fisheries are in the hundreds of millions of pounds per year, reflecting that Alaska is the number one fishing state in the nation.
The strategic military significance can been seen in their location in any flight path of missiles from the Asian mainland toward North America, and in their advantageous positions for strategic defense initiative (SDI) installations.