Hark!! Do I hear the sound of distant Russian saber rattlings?
Hmmm -- do I hear a few Russian sabers rattling? If Russia had its way they would lay claim to the entire former Soviet Union as their territory -- they just can't get over it -- and are always looking for ways to pressure and intimidate their former vassal states.
Now what do you suppose the Russian official meant when he issued this not-so-veiled threat: "If such an approach is unacceptable for the Ukrainian party, we will seek some other solution." Such as?
Russia refuses to recognize Kerch Strait area border with Ukraine
Russia refuses to recognize the border with Ukraine in the region of the Kerch Strait, a sign the parties have failed to make any progress in talks during the past one-and-a-half years.
Ukraine and Russia have been involved in the talks since October 2003, when the countries had nearly clashed over Kosa Tuzla, a small Ukrainian island in the strait that Russia had unexpectedly claimed.
. . .Control over the island is strategically important, as it gives control over the strait, allowing control over all ships that sail from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov and back.
Analysts said that Russia is concerned that Ukraine, which currently controls the strait, would let NATO naval ships into the Sea of Azov, making most of the southern territory of Russia vulnerable.
Ukraine pledged its strategic goal is to joint NATO, while Russia, apparently echoing a Cold War era, views the alliance as a military threat.
Igor Savolskiy, a special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Russia believes there was no firmly set border in the strait between the former Soviet republics, and that's why the strait must be operated jointly by Ukraine and Russia.
"If such an approach is unacceptable for the Ukrainian party, we will seek some other solution," Savolskiy was quoted as saying by Unian news agency Tuesday. "But an administrative border between the former Soviet republics cannot be used as an orienteer for a possible border."
Ukraine is insisting that the border has always existed and is pointing to a number of maps during the Soviet era that clearly state that Kosa Tuzla is Ukrainian territory.