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International Court of Justice renders its Judgment on maritime delimitation in the Black Sea
Feb 03 2009, 18:02
ODESA, FEBRUARY, 3rd, 2009, CONTEXT-PRICHERNOMORIE – International Court of Justice rendered its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) today, on 3 February, 2009, Context-Prichernomorie correspondent reports.
Full text is available at IA Context-Prichernomorie.
The document says, “The elaboration of the new documents on the State border does not represent a revision of the existent border between Romania and Ukraine”.
In its Judgment, which is final, binding and without appeal, the Court unanimously “Decides that starting from Point 1, as agreed by the Parties in Article 1 of the 2003 State Border Regime Treaty, the line of the single maritime boundary delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones of Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea shall follow the 12-nautical-mile arc of the territorial sea of Ukraine around Serpents’ Island until Point 2 (with co-ordinates 45° 03' 18.5'' N and 30° 09' 24.6'' E) where the arc intersects with the line equidistant from Romania’s and Ukraine’s adjacent coasts. From Point 2 the boundary line shall follow the equidistance line through Points 3 (with co-ordinates 44° 46' 38.7'' N and 30° 58' 37.3'' E) and 4 (with co-ordinates 44° 44' 13.4'' N and 31° 10' 27.7'' E) until it reaches Point 5 (with co-ordinates 44° 02' 53.0'' N and 31° 24' 35.0'' E). From Point 5 the maritime boundary line shall continue along the line equidistant from the opposite coasts of Romania and Ukraine in a southerly direction starting at a geodetic azimuth of 185° 23' 54.5'' until it reaches the area where the rights of third States may be affected.” (see pict. – Edit.)
Thus, the Court placed Ukraine and Romania in the status quo: in the Judgment Snake Island is defined as an ‘island’ but not a ‘rock’ (Romanian party insisted on it being a rock), however the status of Snake Island does not provide Ukraine with the right to enlarge its exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea.
In addition, a number of mass media reported Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to have stated in Hague: “It is very important the last problematic point in the relationships between Romania and Ukraine was abolished”.
As IA Context-Prichernomorie reported before, hearings of the case began in Hague at the International Court of Justice on 2 September. The case was sued at Bucharest’s initiative in 2004.
INFORMATION: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.
Serpents’ Island (Snake Island) is a maritime feature situated in the north-western part of the Black Sea, approximately 100 km away from Odesa and 30 km east of the Danube delta. Subdivisions of Frontier and Aircraft Defense Forces of Ukraine together with Ukrainian Navy are based on the island. In 2002 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Economic Activity Program on the territory of Serpent’s Island until 2006. Within the terms of the program the Island was put under administration of Kiliya Raion in Odesa Oblast.
The negotiations between Romania and Ukraine concerning the establishment of a single maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones appertaining to them have been held since January 1998. On 16 September 2004, Romania filed an Application instituting proceedings against Ukraine in respect of a dispute “concern[ing] the establishment of a single maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones appertaining to them”. In its Application Romania states that on 2 June 1997 Ukraine and itself signed a Treaty on Relations of Co-operation and Good-Neighbourliness, as well as an Additional Agreement, by which the two States committed themselves to finding agreement on the above-mentioned matters. Both instruments entered into force on 22 October 1997. Romania contends that negotiations held since 1998 have been inconclusive. Romania filed its Memorial and Ukraine its Counter-Memorial within the time-limits thus fixed by the Court by an Order of 19 November 2004. By an Order of 30 June 2006, the Court authorized the filing of a Reply by Romania and a Rejoinder by Ukraine and fixed time-limits for the filing of these pleadings. Romania filed its Reply within the time-limit thus fixed. By an Order of 8 June 2007, the Court extended the time-limit for the filing of the Rejoinder by Ukraine. The Rejoinder was duly filed within the time-limit thus extended. Public hearings were held in the case from 2 to 19 September 2008.
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