How members of the Kiev junta passed Ukrainian Black Sea shale oil and gas reserves to Romania


Island Zmeiny (Snake Island)

February 4, 2015
Nikolay Starikov
(Originally published April 27, 2014)
Translated by Kristina Rus

  • Nikolai Starikov is a Russian writer, opinion journalist, social activist and a co-chairman of Great Fatherland Party and its subsidiary social NGO, Union of Russian Citizens.

History repeats itself, if people forget it. Especially sad are the consequences when people do not remember the events of the recent past. Today in Ukraine a real show is playing out, called “elections” [article written in April, 2014]. The main contenders for victory in the race are Yulia Timoshenko and Petr Poroshenko. Between them there is a so called “contest”. They both make loud statements about the “fight against separatists and terrorists”, as today Kiev calls its citizens from the South-East of the country.

Why the word “contest” is in quotes? Because both of these figures, Timoshenko and Poroshenko, are members of the same team. Together were in the same government. Which by command from the West passed a part of their country into a foreign jurisdiction.

It happened recently. Just five years ago.

Let us remember how those who are loudly shouting about the integrity of Ukraine, at the bidding of the West gave Romania the shelf of the island Zmeiny [meaning “Snake”].

By the way, filled with natural gas fields…

Now – 2004. Maidan. “The victory of freedom” in unprecedented elections in three rounds. President Yushchenko, whom the West puts at the helm. It is clear that one always has to pay for the support of the West. With what? Of course with the interests of your country and your people. Washington, London and Brussels never in their history helped anyone for free.

And here the authorities of Ukraine played a combination of three moves, which helped to pay for the help of the West in the orange revolution. It was decided to hand over to Romania the Ukrainian part of the coastal zone in the Black Sea. Of course that part, which is rich in hydrocarbons. This is the shale of the island Zmeiny.

The verdict of the European court was supposed to formalize the decision made in advance.

Everything was played, like music.

On September 16, 2004, Romania made a claim against Ukraine concerning the maritime delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the Black Sea. During the USSR our Romanian partners “for some reason” did not even think of submitting such claims. But Kuchma and Ukraine was different…

After all, that’s when began the first Maidan, in November, 2004.

In December 2004, Yushchenko became President after the third round, which is unparalleled in the history of the world (!).

Now Yushchenko had to pay the debt. And he did.

On February 3, 2009, the court announced the decision, according to which, if we discard all the legal terms, a part of the Ukrainian sea shelf went to Romania.

Meanwhile, it was completely unnecessary to go to court with Romania. According to the diplomatic agreement signed by the USSR and Romania, island Zmeiny passed to USSR on May 23, 1948. Before that the island became a territory of the Russian Empire in 1829, after another Russo-Turkish war. A state under the name of Romania then simply did not exist. After the Crimean war, the island was given to Romania by our British and French partners. In 1948, it seemed, it was over. In Soviet times, Romania three times officially confirmed its recognition of the Soviet Union’s ownership of island Zmeiny and the adjacent shelf. Ukraine, as a successor to the USSR, could use these arguments. But they had to pay for the political debts of Maidan. And with one stroke of the pen of the Hague judge, Romania got back the 79,34% of the disputed territories in the Black sea lost due to participation in the war on the side of Hitler.

The reaction of the government of Ukraine to the decision by which Romania chopped off a piece of the shelf, was very positive:

“Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Alexander Kupchishin said that Ukraine is satisfied with the decision of the International court of UN. “It is very important that in the Ukrainian-Romanian relations the last the problematic situation is resolved,” – he said.

The line is a compromise, and the court’s decision is binding for both parties,” – said the Deputy Minister. Kupchishin also said that a very important court decision, is the one declaring the island’s territorial sea area of 12 nautical miles”.

Now it’s time to see who was a member of the government of Ukraine, who so easily and with a smile gave part of its offshore shale to Romania. The President was Viktor Yushchenko, he has long been in a political oblivion. But the rest of the “heroes of Ukraine” continue to fight for votes. And for the integrity of Ukraine.

The government of Ukraine on the date of the decision by the international court:

  • Yulia Tymoshenko – Prime Minister of Ukraine
  • Turchynov Alexander – the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine
  • Poroshenko Peter – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

(The full list of the government can be found here)

As you can see, all – together. “Candidates” for President Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, now are “rivals”. Illegitimate current “acting” Turchynov was also in the government. All in one team. Doing one work. And everything solely “for the benefit” of Ukraine.

So, the first two moves – a lawsuit and a loss in court by Ukraine – done. Time for step three – “the unexpected discovery of hydrocarbons”.

February 23, 2012: “American corporation ExxonMobil and Romanian oil company Petrom confirmed the presence of natural gas deposits in the Black Sea shelf near island Zmeiny. Fossil fuel reserves found on the territory, previously contested by Ukraine, experts are estimating at 42 billion cubic meters. This is three times more than the annual consumption in Romania“.

Please note that Ukrainian politicians gave the West huge deposits of gas, which is very, very essential to the Ukrainian economy. While then the orange government, which today is again at the helm, called the court verdict its great victory. Do you think that companies of which country will begin to produce gas from island Zmeiny? Where will the revenue go? That precisely this country, the USA, paid for Maidan 2004 and Maidan 2014 – are all “coincidences”…

Just one question remains. Where, during the transfer of a piece of Ukrainian territory to Romania was Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who today so fiercely stares from the TV screen through his glasses? Then he was not in the government. He was the head of the party “The Front of Changes”. Was he in opposition to the criminal decision? No. He categorically insisted that Ukraine participates in court, the outcome of which was predetermined in advance, so that “by the end of 2008 the status of island Zmeiny is addressed“.

Oh, I almost forgot. Before the decision of the court Yatsenyuk was … was also a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Tymoshenko. And in 2007, he was a great optimist:

“Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the issue of Zmeiny is still under judicial review. “A part of cases is in court, some cases are considered by commissions. To be honest with you: we are absolutely content in our court case on island Zmeiny. We hired some of the best lawyers. The position of the Ukrainian side is clear and understandable”.

Perhaps the “best lawyers” lost part of the territory of Ukraine to Romania. And then the party of Yatsenyuk in 2013… joined the party of Tymoshenko’s “Batkivshchyna”. It came full circle.

According to the script, one can and should trade the interests and territory of Ukraine.

If this is done in favor of Europe and the United States.

By the way, have you ever thought about why those politicians in particular who were directly or indirectly involved in the transfer of a part of the Ukrainian territory to Romania (read USA), again floated to the surface in the muddy wave of another unrest in Ukraine?

Why they got the support of Washington?

And the main thing – and what will Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, along with Turchynov and Yatseniuk pass to the States this time?

Suggested reading:

Analytical analysis of the case of the island Zmeiny by United Legal Group Association (Russian)

Island Zmeiny, past and present, detailed analysis (Russian) Conclusion:

The official authorities of both parties promised to accept any decision of the court in advance, called the verdict of February 3 – a compromise, however in reality it became a major and obvious victory of Romania. According to the decision, it received 79,34% of the disputed area, or 9.700 square km, while Ukraine got only 2.300 square km. Contrary to the insistence of the Romanian side, Zmeiny was declared an island, and not a “cliff”. The court acknowledged Ukraine’s ownership of “territorial sea” with a width of 12 nautical miles around Zmeiny. But Kiev was denied the right to draw the boundary of maritime economic zones between Romania and Ukraine, while taking into account the ownership of the island Zmeiny.

In other words, the international court decided to exclude the island from the complicated geometry of the calculation of coastline length of both sides. From the point of view of political practice, this solution looks paradoxical. If the court agreed with the position of Romania that island Zmeiny is not an island, but “a cliff”, it would mean that the sovereign rights of Ukraine are not violated, but “only” the geographical status of the island is reviewed. However, by decision dated February 3, it turns out that it is “a real” island by the criteria of UNCLOS 1982 island, but Ukraine is not recognized the right to draw the boundary of the economic zone with respect to island Zmeiny as part of the shoreline of its sovereign territory. In political and public perception it may be interpreted as recognition of the sovereignty of Kiev over the island Zmeiny as incomplete or defective; at least not sufficient to ensure the legitimate interests of Ukraine in the division of the Black Sea shelf.

There is good reason to agree with those experts who believe that the verdict of February 2, 2009 on Zmeiny and the Romanian-Ukrainian maritime boundary was another proof of the triumph of situational justice and long acknowledged death of the universality of international law. Experts also made judgments that the verdict of UN court on the Ukrainian-Romanian maritime boundary indicates loud moral and reputational defeat of official Kiev and proves the fallacy of its calculations for politically motivated support of the Western world in a variety of disputes in the international arena.

In our opinion, the decision of the International court of justice of the United Nations on island Zmeiny and the delimitation of the Black Sea shelf is an important symbolic precedent, marking the change of attitude of the international community and, above all, the countries of the Western world to the problem of Ukraine’s sovereignty and its rights to its territorial borders, which it inherited from the USSR. Ukraine’s neighbors, no doubt, will carefully study the case and analyze the prospects and benefits that it may bring in relations with Ukraine.

Kristina Rus:

So tell me again how much the West cares about Ukrainian energy independence and territorial integrity??? 

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