Declaration of Russian Government Concerning
Newly Discovered Lands in the Arctic Ocean
After approval by His Majesty, the Minister of Foreign Affairs on
October 3, 1916, informed the representatives of allied; and
friendly powers to Russia in a circular notice as follows:
The large number of discoveries and explorations carried out in the
Polar regions along the Northern Coast of the Russian Empire by
Russian navigators and merchants during past centuries were recently
added to by the new successes achieved by the activity of His
Majesty’s Aide-de-Camp Commander Vilkitzky, Imperial Russian Navy,
the Commander of the Surveying Expedition of the Northern Frozen
This officer of the Imperial Navy in 1913 noted several vast
territories along the Northern Coast of Siberia, and in latitude
75—45 North discovered an island, later named the Island of General
Vilkitzky. Then to the northward of this was discovered a large body
of land extending to the north from Taimir Peninsula, to which was
given the name of Emperor Nicholas II Land, Tsessarevitch Alexis
Island and Starokadomsky Island.
During 1914, Commander Vilkitzky made other new and important
explorations and discovered another new island near Bennet Island,
to which the name of Novopashennyi was given.
The Imperial Russian Government has the honor of notifying the
Governments of the allied and friendly powers to Russia of the
inclusion of these lands in the Russian Empire.
The Imperial Government takes the occasion to state that it considers
also as composing an integral part of the Empire the following
islands: Henriette, Jeanette, Bennet, Herald and Uiedinenia
(Solitude), which together with the New Siberia Islands, Wrangel and
[Page 279] others along the
Asiatic shores of the Empire, form an extension to the north of the
Continental expanse of Siberia.
The Imperial Government does not consider it necessary to include in
the present notification the islands of Novaya Zemlia, Kolguev,
Vaigatch and others of smaller dimensions, disposed along the
European Coast of the Empire in view of the fact that they have been
recognized for centuries as a part of the Empire.