Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 120

Ukrainian deputy foreign minister Konstantin Grishchenko declared on Tuesday that his country is seeking Moscow’s "immediate and legally-binding recognition" of Ukraine’s border with Russia. (15) Barring that, said Grishchenko, Kiev will be forced to proceed unilaterally to define the border. The ministry official bespoke Ukrainian exasperation at Russia’s lack of interest in commencing what promises to be "complicated work in delimiting and demarcating the border." Moscow has not responded in kind to a recent request from foreign minister Hennady Udovenko to begin negotiations. Instead, Grishchenko noted, the Russian side begged off by arguing that such a step would "contradict the process of integration and the free movement of citizens and goods."

Indeed, Ukraine’s inconclusive search for Russian recognition of its borders and territorial integrity dates back four years, to the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Since achieving independence, Kiev has been awaiting the arrival of Boris Yeltsin to sign an internationally-recognized Ukrainian-Russian Friendship Treaty that would include such recognition. The Russian president has repeatedly postponed his planned trips to Kiev, however. Moscow’s willingness to indulge its former subject republics appears long since spent.

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