The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s chief cartographer, Col. Vyacheslav Zhihulin, said yesterday that the latest session of the Ukrainian-Russian border delimitation commission had achieved no results because the Russian delegation lacked authorization to resolve the issues at hand. Simultaneously, according to Zhihulin, Romania has stopped demarcation work on 60 percent of the length of the Ukrainian-Romanian border. A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman told another briefing, also yesterday, that Romania’s Foreign Ministry has called for opening negotiations over Ukraine’s Serpents’ Island, which Romania considers its own. Serheyev ruled out negotiations. The delimitation and demarcation of Ukraine’s state borders constitute a high priority of the government, the two Ukrainian officials said. (Interfax-Ukraine, October 8)
The Russian Duma and the Romanian parliament, and also some prominent politicians in both countries, have called for border revisions in Crimea and in Bessarabia and Bukovina, respectively. The Russian and Romanian executive branches do not support such demands, but are nevertheless delaying the signing of interstate treaties with Ukraine by withholding an unambiguous recognition of existing borders. The Romanian government also seeks an admission by Ukraine in the treaty that it wrongfully acquired Romanian territories. Maritime borders are also under discussion. At recent sessions of the Russian-Ukrainian Border Delimitation Commission, Moscow demanded joint jurisdiction over the Azov Sea, instead of its sectoral partition. Romania officially seeks retrocession of Serpents’ Island with adjacent oil and gas fields in the Black Sea.
Moldova’s Western-Assisted Reforms Reach Political Crossroads.