Kiev is ready to permit Russian vessels passage through the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian foreign minister said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

The Ukrainian-Russian border in the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, remains undefined since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"We believe that other instruments may be found so that Russia is guaranteed free passage through the Kerch-Yenikal Channel with, of course, Ukraine's consent," Kostyantyn Hryshchenko said during a Ukrainian parliament session.

Moscow insists there be no documents fixing the border between Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, and the Kerch-Yenikal Channel channel should be opened for both countries without any limitations.

However Kiev has been referring to geographical maps, according to which almost the entire navigable channel in the Kerch Strait belongs to Ukraine, which could limit Russian navigation into the Sea of Azov. According to Soviet-era maps, the border between the two republics was directly down the middle of the Kerch Strait. However, the man-made Kerch-Yenikal Channel, which is navigable for large ships, then falls into Ukrainian waters.

Russia suggests placing the border down the middle of the Kerch-Yenikal Channel.


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