Russian geologists claim that they have found a link between Russia and the North pole in the form of the Lomonosov Ridge, a geological feature on the sea floor. Because of this, they claim 460,000 square miles of ocean as Russian territory. However, their claims have been knocked back by the UN before, in 2001. There are reports that they are trying again, with some claiming that they are even sending a submarine to plant a flag 14,000 feet under the Arctic ice shelf.
The motivation, as is often the way, is oil. The area is a potentially lucrative oilfield, and with the ice melting (ironically because of oil and the resulting climate change caused by its use), access will be easier.
The expedition leader, Artur Chilingarov, is quoted as saying, "The Arctic is Russian. We are going to be the first to put a flag there, a Russian flag at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, at the very point of the North Pole." ::The Daily Green ::The Guardian