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Romania/Ukraine: Cooperation Talks Underway

Kyiv, 26 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Romanian and Ukrainian negotiators are meeting in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv today for a ninth round of talks on a wide-ranging friendship and cooperation treaty.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennady Udovenko said today Ukraine would maintain what he called a "flexible position" in the talks and that Kyiv seeks to sign a treaty as soon as possible. But, he said recognition of the inviolability of Ukraine's borders is essential.

Romanian President Emil Constantinescu has said his country is ready to make "historic sacrifices" for friendly relations with Ukraine. Corrrespondents say a treaty would boost Romania's chances of entry into NATO and the European Union.

The two countries disagree over their common sea border. Romania also has long demanded that Ukraine publicly atone for the Soviet Union's 1940 seizure of parts of Romanian territory under the Nazi-Soviet Pact.