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Serpent Island to become the Achilles Economic Zone

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 22 februarie 2008, 14:46 English | Top News

The Ukrainian Economy Ministry published the law draft designed to create a special economic area, called Achilles", on the much disputed Serpent Island territory. The purpose of the document is to attract investments and ensure their efficient use for tourism development. The Serpent Island, with its 0.17 square kilometers surface, is disputed by Romania and Ukraine in the European Court of Justice, the stakes referring to the potemtial oil resevres in the island.

The document defines the notion of special economic area as part of the Ukrainian territory, with special fiscal and custom taxation conditions.

Ukrainian experts already expressed their doubts in the possible future of such an economic area. The former Economy minister, Sergey Terekhin, considered at the time that the idea is at least strange.

According to Terekhin, an industrial facility should be build on the island, as argument in front of the International Court of Justice. "A special economic area would allow the construction of a casino, but who would travel this far for a casino?", Terekhin argued.

The island is litigated in the Hague, Romania opening a lawsuit against Ukraine. Bucharest sued Kiev for the delimitation of the Black Sea platform, considering the Serpent Island as a rock without any water resources.

The island was a Romanian territory until 1947, when Russia took it over.

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