Ukraine’sforeign and defense ministers, Hennadi Udovenko and Valerii Shmarov,visited Serpents’ Island in the Black Sea on August 10, Ukrainianand Western agencies reported. The small island is claimed byRomania, to which it belonged from 1878 until annexed in the late1940s by the USSR, from which Ukraine inherited it. Ukraine maintainssmall military installations on the island. "It is no concernof Romania if our ministers choose to visit the island, it islike visiting any other part of Ukraine," a Foreign Ministryspokeswoman told Reuters. Ukrainian officials told the agencythat possession of the 1.5 sq. km. island entitles Ukraine to7,000 sq. kms. of sea territory, in which Ukraine has found underseadeposits of oil and gas. A Romanian Foreign Ministry spokesmanconfirmed to the agency that Serpents’ Island is important asa reference point for measuring the continental shelf on mapsin the area of oil and gas deposits, and that Romania seeks torenegotiate the demarcation of sea borders in that area.
Joint Exercises on the Lower Danube.