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Ukrainian press: If Romania gets Maikan Island, Russia will raise territorial demands from Ukraine

„We will not give our island to Romania”, „Ukraine will not surrender our island to Romania”, „Romania claims an Ukrainian island”, „Romania raises again territorial demands on Ukraine” – only a few of the titles featured in Russian by the Ukrainian press, after deputy Ghenadi Zadirko accused Bucharest for addressing territorial demands, „targeting a small, uninhabited island, Maikan, measuring 1,500 over 800 meters, located between Chilia and Vilkovo.

„Ukraine may lose the unpopulated island on [river] Danube. Romania claims this land and the navigable neighbouring channel. If Romania is successful, this will make other regional states raise territorial aspiration on Ukraine as well. Especially when it comes to Russia”, Vzgliad reads.

At the same time, Ukraine’s business attaché at the UN International Court, namely ambassador Vladimir Vasilenko, believes that „for the moment, there is no reason to adjust the state border line between Ukraine and Romania”.

The diplomat opinionated that this was not about territorial requests, but about an issue that surfaced following the change in the Danube’s navigable sailing line. „There is a clear change in the current sailing line and, consequently, the position of some banks and islands on the navigable channel are changed”, Vasilenko explained.

According to him, the issue of who owns the Maikan Island was settled by the bi-lateral agreement signed by Ukraine and Romania in 2003, which addressed the state borders regime.

„The 2003 document stipulates, among others, that in the case of hydro-geographic modifications, both parties must take measures top restore the previous situation. This is not about Ukraine’s territorial requests from Romania and vice-versa, Romania’s demand from Ukraine. It’s about solving the situation created around this island that resulted from natural alterations. In our view, the Ukrainian view, hydro-geographical changes do not have a cardinal character. An issue regarding the ownership of the island or affecting the border line cannot be raised at the moment”, Vasilenko stressed.