Justin Trudeau: Putin Doesn't Determine Who Owns North Pole

Science has the ultimate say in drawing national boundaries.

A country's geographic boundaries should be set by cartographers and scientists, not politicians, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau, answering a question from The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman as part of a Global Town Hall hosted by HuffPost, said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim of Russian territory in the Arctic Circle will be proved wrong.

"Vladimir Putin ... says that the North Pole and 500,000 square miles of the continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean are Russian territory," Fineman opened. "Is he right?"

“Well, everybody knows that the North Pole is in Canada,” Trudeau responded, prompting laughter, “But every country -- and I’m sure there are Americans who will point to Alaska as the closest port to the North Pole, and the Danes do the same through Greenland, and so forth -- this is the reason that this question is going to be settled not by politicians, but by scientists and international oceanographic [studies], and international bodies are weighing in to look at the various lines on a map."

However, it wouldn't be fair to dismiss Putin's territorial claim simply because of his personality, Trudeau said.

"Because however much we might dislike Mr. Putin on a personal level, that doesn’t make him automatically wrong. The science will determine whether or not" that's the case.

"I think he’s wrong, and from what I’ve seen of the science, I believe he’s wrong, but you can’t just disagree with someone who you disagree with, because you disagree with them.

"I trust science," he concluded.

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