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    UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN CONSULTATIONS ON THE STATUS OF AZOV-KERCH WATER AREA TO BEGIN IN KIEV

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    KIEV, MARCH 9, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT YEVGENY ALEXANDROV). A regular round of the Ukrainian-Russian consultations on the status of the Azov-Kerch water area will begin on Tuesday in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

    The two countries' delegations are headed by Kalyuzhny and Ukrainian deputy foreign minister Alexander Motsik.

    The sides are expected to discuss the drafts of three documents: on the Azov Sea, the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea.

    In compliance with the understanding reached at the previous meeting in Moscow on January 29-30, the sides will discuss the draft treaties on the state border in the Azov Sea and in the Kerch Strait and on the delimitation of the territorial sea, the economic zone and the continental shelf in the Black Sea.

    Kalyuzhny said after the January meeting that there were no disagreements concerning the delimitation of the Azov-Kerch water area and the Black Sea zones. To solve the problem of the economic activity in the Azov-Kerch and the Black Sea water area takes time, he said.

    During the meeting in Kerch on December 24, 2003, Russian and Ukrainian presidents Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma signed an agreement on cooperation in the use of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait.

    The document says that the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait are the internal waters of Ukraine and Russia. It also stipulates that the Azov Sea is divided by the state border line, and the Kerch Strait is being used in accordance with the sides' agreement. The signed agreement should be ratified by the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments.

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