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10 The Sea of Azov and the Kerch Straits

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Chapter Summary

During the Soviet period the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait were part of the internal waters of the U.S.S.R. and by law the straight baseline was drawn between Cape Kyz-Aul, Cape Geleznyi Rog, making the Kerch Strait entrance internal waters. This chapter addresses the two key issues regarding the Kerch Strait and Sea Azov. The issues are delimitation and navigational issues. The chapter examines some of the current agreements which were concluded and analyzes international law provisions which should be recognized in this case by both countries. On December 24, 2003 Russia and Ukraine signed the Agreement on Cooperation on the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. According to Article 1 of the Agreement on Cooperation, the delimitation of the Sea of Azov maritime boundaries and those related to the Kerch Strait were to be carried out by agreement between the two Parties.

Keywords: International law; Kerch Straits; navigational issues; Russia; Sea of Azov; Ukraine



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