The Sea of Azov must be the internal sea of Russia and Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Rostov-on-Don journalists. In his words, this attitude is shared by Ukraine and is "the best possible form" of meeting the national interests of the two countries. The sea is located in the south of Russia and Ukraine and is linked to the Black Sea by a strait.
Moscow and Kiev agree that the Sea of Azov must not divide them but "must become, on the contrary, a unifying factor," Putin said. He said there were no problems concerning the ground border with Ukraine but "we should work jointly" on the issue of the Sea of Azov.
According to the Russian president, the two countries should join forces to fight the illegal catch of sturgeon in the sea. He had recently discussed the issue with his Ukrainian colleague, Leonid Kuchma, and they agreed to resume discussions and possibly make a joint trip to the sea, said Vladimir Putin.