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.