Saturday 24th of August 2019, 17:54 CET
"Unfriendly act" of Russia temporary suspended
October 23, 2003
BBC News Europe

Posted by HW on August 24, 2019

2-3 days break
Authorities in southern Russia have stopped work on a causeway across the Kerch Strait which has raised tension in relations with Ukraine.
Alexei Tkachev, the governor of Krasnodar - the region which is building the causeway - told Russian news agency Itar-Tass that construction would cease for two or three days to allow talks on the issue between the two countries.

Unfriendly act
Meanwhile the Ukrainian parliament passed a resolution describing Russia's actions in building the causeway as an "unfriendly act".

Border doubt
Some Russian officials have cast doubt on Ukraine's claim to Tuzla, which the causeway would link to the Russian mainland if completed.
But Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who cut short a tour of Latin America on Wednesday because of the crisis, said there would be no concessions over the maritime border in the area.

Respect
He was speaking after visiting the small island of Tuzla, in the middle of the strait, where Ukraine has been reinforcing its border guards.
"I am forced to admit that I have not seen appropriate respect given to Ukraine and its 48 million people," he said.
"But, personally, I am convinced that we will be able to avert, and have practically averted, dramatic developments."

Essential protection
The Russian causeway stretches from the mainland towards Tuzla, and is now about 100 metres from what Kiev considers to be Ukraine's border.
There are reports that some work resumed on the causeway after Mr Kuchma's departure. But this is believed to be an effort to widen and reinforce the existing structure to withstand storms, rather than an attempt to extend it.

PMs meeting
Mr Kasyanov will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych on Friday to discuss the territorial issue.

Border alert
Ukraine has put its border guards on alert, laid tank traps on the island and held air and sea exercises nearby. Reuters news agency also reported that Ukrainian guards were creating a makeshift sea border with pontoons to prevent further construction.

More claims
Correspondents say Ukraine is worried that Russia will try to claim more territory ahead of the talks. The order for work to be suspended was given by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Wednesday.
 
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Taman (Russia) Village
 
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Ivanov, Igor (M) Politician Russia
Kasyanov, Mikhail (M) Politician Russia
Kuchma, Leonid (M) Politician Ukraine
Yanukovich, Viktor (M) Politician Ukraine
 
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