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Romania: No Progress Reported In Talks With Ukraine, Russia

Bucharest, 31 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Reports say Romania-Ukraine treaty talks appear stalled, and that significant differences remain in Romania-Russia treaty talks. Separate negotiations on the two treaties were held last week in Bucharest and Moscow.

Romania has signed a treaty with Hungary, and Bucharest has said it is eager to sign treaties with Ukraine and Russia to enhance Romania's prospects of joining the European Union and NATO. But historical questions -- most related to the secret protocols of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact -- have complicated negotiations. Under the pact, parts of Romania became part of the former USSR, and present day Ukraine and Moldova. Russia says it wants no mention of the pact in the Romania-Russia treaty.

Meanwhile, a lingering border dispute with Ukraine over an island in the Black Sea is reported to center on possible future exploration of oil reserves believed located in the region.