Rosalyn Higgins, president of International Court of Justice read today the Court’s judgment in the case concerning the maritime delimitation in the Black Sea, filed by Romania against Ukraine in 2004.
ICJ: Serpents’ Island will not influence the maritime boundary

The Serpents’ Island will be no be deemed as a core feature in establishing the maritime boundary in the Black Sea, even if it will not be deemed as “shore” of Ukraine as the Kiev had previously requested, said Rosalyn Higgins, earlier today after the public sitting.

[Update] The international court of Justice has unanimously agreed that the line of the single maritime boundary delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones of Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea shall follow the 12-nautical-mile arc of the territorial sea of Ukraine around Serpents’ Island.

The Court concludes that “the 1949 instruments related only to the demarcation of the State border between Romania and the USSR, which around Serpents’ Island followed the 12-mile limit of the territorial sea”.

Considering that it does not influence the decision, the Courts finds inappropriate to select any base point, as president of ICJ, Rosalyn Higgins noted.

Ukraine said the entitlement is an island and should have the right for more than 12 miles.
Therefore, the boundary begins at Point 1 and follows the 12-nautical-mile arc around Serpents’ Island until it intersects with the line equidistant from Romania’s and Ukraine’s adjacent coasts; from there, it follows that line until it becomes affected by base points on the opposite coasts of Romania and Ukraine. From this turning point the delimitation line runs along the line equidistant from Romania’s and Ukraine’s opposite coasts in a southerly direction.

More precisely, the line proposed by Romania has the following coordinates: starting from F point 45°05'21''N, 30°02'27''E where the line intersects arc around the Serpents’ Island, until X points with coordinates 45°14'20''N, 30°29'12'' E, then from X point until Y Point with coordinates. From that point, the boundary line shall follow the equidistant line between the coasts of Romania and Ukraine, from Y point, intersecting Point D with coordinates 45°12'10''N, 30°59'46''E until T point with coordinates 45°09'45'' N, 31°08'40''E,which will continue as median between the opposite coasts, from T Point – intersecting points with coordinates 44°35'00''N, 31°13'43''E and 44°04'05''N, 31°24'40'' E respectively , up to Z point (43°26'50''N, 31°20'10''E).

On the other hand, Ukraine requested a boundary line that intersects the following points: from the point identified by Romania and specified in the Treaty on Good Neighbourliness and Co-operation of 1997 between Ukraine and Romania, with coordinates 5° 05' 21" N; 30° 02' 27" E, with a straight segment until the second point (44° 54' 00" N; 30° 06' 00" E); starting at from the geodetic azimuth of 156°, the line continues until the third point (43° 20' 37" N; 31° 05' 39") and then continues along the same azimuth.