. Untappedoffshore oil and gas deposits in a 7,000 square kilometer areaaround Serpents’ Island in the Black Sea could go a long way towardmeeting Ukraine’s energy needs, Mineral Resources State CommitteeVice-chairman Bohdan Bialyuk and the Rada’s defense and nationalsecurity commission chairman Volodymyr Mukhin told the PetroleumInformation Agency and Interfax-Ukraine August 11. The DefenseMinistry announced the same day that the foreign and defense ministers,Hennady Udovenko and Valery Shmarov, and border troop commanderCol. General Viktor Bannykh had returned from an inspection ofSerpents’ Island with proposals to the cabinet of ministers onprotecting the offshore area and access to the island. The ministersdescribed Romania’s claim to the island, and the sea surroundingit, as an attempt to revise international borders whose inviolabilityunderlies European security.
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