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Romania gets its slice in the Black Sea

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03 Feb 2009 - 00:00

For the first time, Romania wins a fair division of the continental plateau in the Black Sea, which includes the Island of the Snakes, a rocky formation that has poisoned our relations with Ukraine. The Court in Hague, which ruled unanimously, has acknowledged these rights.



The International Court of Justice in Hague acknowledged yesterday the sovereign jurisdiction and rights of Romania - the exploitation of the existing resources in the area, mainly - on an area of 9700 sqkm of the continental plateau and the exclusive economic zone. All this represents 79.3% of the over 12,000 sqkm area that started the dispute with Ukraine and about 70% of hydrocarbon resources estimated to be present in the area, according to the assessments of Bogdan Aurescu, the Head of the team of lawyers that represented Romania at ICJ. He said that our country has gained more than it was expected. The file called "The Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea, Romania v. Ukraine" had the number 100, which appears to have brought good luck to our country.

The decision of the international Court in Hague, which was given in open court yesterday in the Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace, put an end to a 42 year-long dispute that could not be solved after the negotiations between the two sides. Many analysts said yesterday, after the verdict was given, that there was no practical dialogue on this issue. In his turn, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister said in an official statement that "the ICJ decision is directly applicable, mandatory, final and immediately enforceable. There is no need for any other steps in order to implement the decision internally, internationally, or bilaterally". This moment represents "the finish line of a difficult dispute, which involved negotiations with the USSR for 20 years, 6 years and 34 rounds of negotiations with Ukraine, 4 years, 4 months and 18 days of legal confrontation at the ICJ", Bogdan Aurescu emphasized.

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Romania's representative at the ICJ showed that the solution given by the Hague Court opens up the exploitation of the resources in the area. In his turn, Mihai Gherman, Deputy Director General of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR), the authority named to capitalize the resources underneath our exclusive economical area, stated that, probably, besides the companies that already develop activities in the Black Sea, there would be other companies interested in this area.

The mass-media channels were full of famous brands that would be interested in these areas: Total, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, OMV, Lukoil, as well as Romgaz and Petrom. According to the estimations of NAMR, the firms wishing to engage in the exploration of the perimeters on the continental plateau of the Black Sea must spend at least 10-15 million dollars for each area, and in case of discovery of new deposits, tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

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