Russia is aiming to expand its power in the Arctic Circle by acquiring unrestricted access to hydrocarbon reserves off the coast of the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard. Two bodies of international law govern Svalbard. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 ascertains Norway’s sovereignty over the archipelago and permits the signatory nations, including Russia, to conduct commercial activities on the land and in the “territorial waters”. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes maritime zones that allow coastal states to claim exclusive rights to their territorial seas and continental shelf. Norway holds that “territorial waters” in the Svalbard Treaty is the twelve-nautical mile territorial seas and limits Russia’s access to hydrocarbon resources there. Russia contends that “territorial waters” includes the 200-nautical mile continental shelf beyond the territorial seas. After analyzing both interpretations of the Treaty under the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties, the Russian interpretation of “territorial waters” falters in many respects. This comment argues Russia’s aim for unrestricted access to Svalbard’s resources is a violation of UNCLOS. The international community must forge a uniform interpretation: The Arctic Counsel or NATO should demonstrate regional support, Norway should bring a case against Russia before the ICJ for encroachment, and Norway should place additional economic sanctions on Russia.