Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 82

Russia and China have completed an exhaustive seven-year effort to mark their joint borders, a Russian official said yesterday. According to Genrikh Kireev, a Russian diplomat involved in the effort, a Russian-Chinese border demarcation commission will disband this week. While active, the commission reportedly produced some 175 detailed maps of the borders and a raft of supporting documents. That paperwork has now been delivered to the political leaderships of the two countries for signing. The border agreement will be formalized at a later, still unspecified date.

According to Kireev, demarcation of the border involved the posting of more than 2,000 border signs along the 2,600-mile eastern border of China and Russia–stretching from Mongolia to the Tumen River near the Sea of Japan–and along the thirty-three-mile Western border, which runs from Kazakhstan to Mongolia. The two sides also divvied up some 2,444 islands in the rivers along the joint border. According to Kireev, China received 1,281 of those, while Russia was given 1,163.

The two sides were unable, however, to reach agreement on three islands–two of them on the Ussuri River near Khabarovsk and another on the Argun River. Talks on those islands are to continue (AP, Itar-Tass, April 27).