Russian, Ukrainian foreign ministers discuss border demarcation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Kostyantyn Hryshchenko are currently discussing border demarcation issue and other aspects of bilateral ties in Moscow amid current tension over gas prices.

The ministers will focus on the Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Voloshin said earlier. The strait linking the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea has been a bone of contention between the two countries since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The agreement on the issue is crucial for the potential introduction of visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the European Union.

The ministers will discuss the presence of Russian naval forces on the Crimean Peninsula. A deal extending the lease on a Russian base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017 was ratified simultaneously by the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments in 2010. Ukraine will receive a 30% discount on Russian natural gas in return for the lease, which may be extended for another five years.

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