Ukraine's Tymoshenko Alarmed Over Supposed Territorial Loss

KIEV, Ukraine -- Former Ukrainian prime minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko warned on Saturday that Ukraine may lose the Tuzla island in the Kerch Strait at the border with Russia as a result of forthcoming talks between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych will discuss the issue of border demarcation between Russia and Ukraine among other issued during Medvedev's visit to Kiev on May 17-18.

Some border areas between the two neighboring countries remain undemarcated since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"As early as during the next visit [by the Russian president], discussions and decisions are expected to take place on one more territorial problem between Russia and Ukraine — the Kerch Strait, where Ukraine has an outlet to the Sea of Azov, where Ukraine has a possibility to develop strategic offshore oil and gas reserves," Tymoshenko said in a live broadcast on the Ukrainian Inter television channel.

"What is to be agreed and signed now — it means that we practically lose the Tuzla island. This is a question of a real territorial loss," the opposition leader said.

Medvedev will visit the Ukrainian capital for the second time since Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in February. Yanukovych has twice visited Russia as the two former Soviet neighbors have remade their relations over the past three months.

Tymoshenko, who moved into the opposition after loosing the presidential elections, has repeatedly criticized the Yanukovych administration for conducting anti-Ukrainian policies and bowing down to Moscow.

Source: RIA Novosti