Sea border issues will be high on this year’s Ukrainian-Russian agenda, Victor Yushchenko has said in Donetsk, according to the President`s press-office.

      The President said the two countries had failed to resolve border disputes despite holding twenty-five meetings but admitted there was some progress in talks on the demarcation of the Azov Sea.

      “We agreed on how to demarcate the shores of the Azov Sea. Now, we are speaking about the water line,” he said.

      Mr. Yushchenko added that Russia suggested using the Azov Sea jointly, while Ukraine insisted on demarcating it in accordance with international rules.

      He said the Kerch Strait dispute was really difficult to resolve. Ukraine wants to demarcate the border as it was in the Soviet Union, he explained. He said the same principle had been used in a border dispute between Russia and the Baltic countries.

      The President said Ukraine was ready to sign agreements with Russia on navigation, environmental security and military maneuvers in the strait but wanted to demarcate the border first.

      “We are ready to tackle the issue during our talks with Russia and find compromises in exchange for recognizing the Kerch Strait line as a border between Ukraine and Russia,” he said. 

      The President was, however, very optimistic about the Black Sea border issue: “We will compromise on the Black Sea.”