Tuesday, February 3, 2009

AP: World Court to rule on Romania-Ukraine dispute

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: The International Court of Justice is to issue its decision Tuesday on a maritime boundary dispute between Romania and Ukraine that will determine rights to exploit oil and gas under the Black Sea.

The ruling involves a tiny spit of Ukrainian land about 45 kilometers (20 miles) off the sea's western coast called Serpent Island. Greek legend associates it with the mythical hero Achilles.

The court must decide whether it is just an inhospitable rock that can be ignored when determining boundaries, or whether it should be treated as the furthest extent of Ukrainian territory.

Romania asked the U.N.'s highest court court to fix the boundary in 2004 after years of talks with Ukraine failed to settle the dispute

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