The 22nd round of negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian delegations on delimitation of the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait were held in Kiev. The negotiations' agenda contained cooperation in shipping, fishing, protection of marine environment and ecological safety in the relevant water areas, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's sources informed.

The Ukrainian delegation, staffed by officials with the National Security and Defense Council, the Transport and Communication Ministry, the Ministry of Natural Environment Protection, the State Fishery Committee and the State Borderguard Service, was led by First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteiko and the Russian side was chaired by Russian Roving Ambassador Igor Savolsky.

On results of the negotiations on delimitation of the Sea of Azov the parties instructed experts to draft proposals on the line of the state border in this water area, with a view of completing drafting an agreement on the Ukrainian - Russian State borderline in the Sea of Azov.

As for the Kerch Strait, the positions of the parties remain the same. The Ukrainian side's position is that the borderline in the Kerch Strait coincides with the line of the administrative (inter-republican) border between the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic, while Russia insists that there were no legitimate established administrative border and so there is no need of its demarcation.

Proceeding from the fact that the consolidated text of an agreement on delimitation of territorial seas, continental shelf and exceptional economic zones in the Black Sea has been already drafted by the parties, the negotiations mainly dealt with the adjusting of the delimitation line, which will be set under the norms of the internal law.

The next round of the negotiations will be held in Russia in November 2005.


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