Russia, Ukraine reach breakthrough in sea border talks

Russia and Ukraine have reached a breakthrough in their talks on maritime border delimitation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“A qualitative breakthrough has been achieved on the issue of the Kerch Strait. We have reached fundamental understanding with the Ukrainian leadership on how to resolve this problem,” Lavrov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station.

The Ukrainian-Russian border in the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, remains undefined since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine unilaterally established a maritime border with Russia in the 1990s, saying it was based on the Soviet-era administrative border between the two republics.

Russia has repeatedly denied the existence of Soviet administrative borders and called for shared use of the Kerch Strait.

In the summer of 2003, a bitter dispute broke out between Russia and Ukraine over the Tuzla Island in the middle of the Kerch Strait, which came to a head when Russia tried to construct a spit connecting the island. Ukraine accused Russia of encroaching on its territory.

MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti)

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