Romania said Tuesday it had filed documents with the International Court of Justice to support its suit asking the court to resolve its Black Sea border dispute with Ukraine.

The two former communist countries have been wrangling for years over the boundary line in the oil-rich sea. In September, Romania filed the suit asking the United Nations' highest court to intervene and demarcate the border, saying bilateral talks were leading nowhere.

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it had detailed Romania's position in the report filed with the court in The Hague, Netherlands. The report includes "a presentation of the juridical reasons of the demarcation option proposed" by Romania, the ministry said. It would not give further details, saying the report was confidential.

Ukraine is expected to file its own report in coming months, after which the court is to start the hearings in the case. Border disputes brought to the court, also called the World Court, normally take several years to be resolved. The court arbitrates between assenting U.N. member states, and its rulings are final and binding.

Romania and Ukraine signed a treaty in 1997 agreeing to negotiate a border settlement, but the discovery of major oil and gas deposits in the mid-1990s prompted arguments over access to areas in the Black Sea.

In 1995, Ukraine protested that Romania was seizing Ukrainian territory in the sea. Ukraine built structures on "Serpents Island," a rocky isle, to strengthen its claim.


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