Russia and Ukraine have reached the final stages of talks on the demarcation of sections of their land border that remain undemarcated since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia's Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said on Friday.
"The issue has essentially been concluded," Zurabov said during a news conference in Kiev. "I think the moment when the first border post will be erected is fast approaching."
Zurabov dismissed concerns that the delimitation will make it harder for Russians and Ukrainians to travel across the border.
"The demarcation of the border will significantly ease all [border crossing] procedures," he said.
The maritime border between Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, remains a bone of contention.
Ukraine unilaterally established a maritime border in the 1990s, saying it was based on the Soviet-era administrative border between the two then-republics, but Russia has repeatedly denied the existence of Soviet administrative borders.
Russia has remained committed to an agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait signed in 2003 by then Russian President Vladimir Putin and his then Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma. Under the agreement, the sea and the strait remain the territorial waters of both Russia and Ukraine.
KIEV, June 10 (RIA Novosti)