Ukraine welcomes the ruling on delimitations in the Black Sea

The United Nations International Court of Justice came to a final ruling on the delimitation of continental shelf and exceptional economic zones of Ukraine and Romania in Hague on February 3, 2009. The UN Court decision defines the border line by following geographical coordinates: point 1 – 45° 05? 21.0” N and 30° 02? 27.0” Е), point 2 – 45° 03? 18.5” N and 30° 09? 24.6” Е), point 3 – 44° 46? 38.7” N and 30° 58? 37.3” Е, point 4 – 44° 44? 13.4” N and 31° 10? 27.7” Е, point 5 – 44° 02? 53.0” N and 31° 24? 35.0” Е. The Court decision has brought to the end the long-standing territorial dispute between Ukraine and Romania with the 12838 square kilometres at stake, now delimitated in the ratio about 21% to 79%.
The United Nations International Court in Hague by its unanimous 15 Judges has impartially adopted the verily Solomon decision seconding no Ukrainian neither Romanian claim, because the overall delimitation territory of 75 200 square kilometres was delimitated in the ratio 2,1 to 1 in favour of Ukraine.
Returning to the past, the Ukraine-Romania delimitation line of continental shelf and exceptional economic zones, confirmed by the International Court, is coinciding, with some insignificant differences, with the proposal made by the USSR on the negotiations with Romania in 1987. That time this proposal was declined by Romanians because the key point was a definition of the status of the Serpents Island (Zmiinyi) and getting sovereign jurisdiction on sea expanses around it. Was it worth it to spend more than 20 years with more than 4 years in the Court and significant euro expenditures just to gain lay-off pay equal to what has been perversely refused?
The majority of located natural gas and oil sea-sites, within an arguable area, are confirmed to be a part of Ukrainian territory. All concerned the key point – northern part of the continental shelf around the Serpents Island – is that the Court turned down requests of the Romanian side, leaving it for Ukraine. The sea-site mentioned contains located resources-fields (about 800 mlrd. of cubic metres of natural gas and 60 mln. tonnes of oil). Romania gets about 70 mlrd. of cubic metres of natural gas and 12 mln. tonnes of oil of the resources located. Furthermore the Court decided that the Serpents Island was legally included at that time into the territory of the USSR on the basis of the Protocol of 1948 and according to the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. Thus a doubtfulness of the Serpent Island’s status was removed by the Court, confirming the island as the one belonging to Ukraine. The UN Court decision on Black Sea boundary between Ukraine and Romania should be considered as favourable for involving foreign investments into location and exploitation of natural resources in the part of the sea.
Moreover the decision adopted has to contribute to the development of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Romania because it obviates obstacles of further territorial claims. Quoting H.E. Traian-Lauren?iu Hristea, Ambassador of Romania in Ukraine, “this decision of the United Nations International Court of Justice is a successful implementation of the International Law norms and its fairness and correctness can not be called into question. That is why it is favourable decision for Romania, which has been always insisting on delimitation formula corresponding to norms of the International Law. Undoubtedly, this fair division is advantageous for Ukraine as well…Romania has proposed to consider this case in the United Nations International Court just to let the both sides develop their relations in other sphere, representing mutual interest”. And a Romanian member of the European Parliament, Adrian Severin, said: « From now, Romania is able to exploit its full territory, including the continental shelf, and also has a better perspective for better relations and economic cooperation with Ukraine. » He added that the settlement imposed by the Court has benefits for the whole region. « There are two major benefits, » he said. « Number one is that a dispute between two neighbouring countries is over, and this dispute was a burden on their bilateral relations; the second benefit is that Romania has a clear definition of its rights. »
Ulas Martyn
Journalists Union