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Russia: Ukrainian Border Dispute

When neighboring countries fight over their mutual boundary, relations plunge to the lowest level.

The building of the wall between Israel and Palestine is the latest example. We have discussed the dispute between Russia and the Unkraine over a small but vital area. The dispute has got worse.

Ukraine's foreign minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko said he hoped a border row with Russia would prove to be a "misunderstanding", but that Kiev might seek international arbitration if no agreement was reached. The two states are at odds over Russia's construction of a breakwater extending from southern Krasnodar region towards the small island of Tuzla off Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Russia says Tuzla was once on a spit from the Russian mainland that is being rebuilt to protect coastal farms and beaches. Ukraine fears such a bridge would erode its authority over the Kerch strait running from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, and on to Turkey and the Mediterranean. The construction has plunged relations to the lowest point in recent memory. (Reuters 11/18/03).

Ronald Hilton - 12.01.03