07:36 GMT +317 November 2019
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    A view of the new bridge across the Kerch Strait linking Russia's Taman Peninsula with Crimea, after regular traffic began, in Kerch, Crimea, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

    Russia Sets Out Conditions for Maritime Border Talks with Ukraine

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Crimea reunited with Russia after nearly 96 percent of voters supported the move in a March 2014 referendum. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Crimea's residents decided to rejoin Russia through a democratic procedure, and that the referendum was conducted in compliance with international law.

    Kiev's recognition of Russia's sovereignty over Crimea could make a good starting point for negotiations about the maritime border between the countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said.

    This comes as a comment on a proposal by Kiev to launch "compulsory" talks with Moscow about establishing a maritime border and setting up a delimitation commission.

    "We could suggest that by saying 'compulsory negotiations' Ukraine refers to a conciliation procedure, envisioned by Article 298 of a 1982 Convention [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea]. Meanwhile, the procedure can be conducted only in the absence of unresolved disputes on the sovereignty over ... continental or island territory. If referring to this procedure indicates the Ukrainian authorities' readiness to recognise Russia's sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula, this could certainly be a good basis for resolving the issue of the maritime border between our countries", Rudenko said.

    The majority of Western countries, as well as Ukraine, have not recognised the 2014 referendum's results, imposing sanctions on Russia. Russia, for its part, has responded by introducing a food embargo on Western nations, with Moscow stressing that Crimea reunited with the country via a peaceful democratic referendum and in accordance with international law. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the issue of the peninsula's possession is "historically closed".

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    talks, Crimean referendum, Crimea, Russia
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