Monday 20th of November 2017, 05:04 CET
Serpents Island impasse still not broken
February 18, 2004
RFE/RL South Eastern Europe

Posted by HW on November 20, 2017

Little progress
Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana told journalists on 18 February that Romania and Ukraine have made "little progress" in talks on sharing the oil-rich continental shelf in the Black Sea, AFP and Mediafax reported.

Status change
Geoana spoke after talks with visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko. Geoana said Romania cannot under any circumstances agree to what he called "attempts by Ukraine to change the international judicial status of Serpents Island (Zmiyinyy Ostrov)." Romanian media reported earlier this week that Ukraine is populating the uninhabited island in order to be able to claim an exclusive economic zone around it under international maritime legislation.

About money
Hryshchenko, who also met with President Ion Iliescu, said the dispute is ultimately an "economic one" and "therefore one about money." Geoana said the Ukrainian side has brought new proposals that experts in Bucharest will study, but stressed that considering that no agreement has been reached in 21 meetings over the disputed island, it is likely that Bucharest will have to ask the Hague-based International Court of Justice to rule on the matter.
 
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Geoana, Mircea (M) Politician Romania
Iliescu, Ion (M) Politician Romania
 
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