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    Russia Transnational Issues - 2004
    http://www.immigration-usa.com/wfb2004/russia/russia_issues.html
    SOURCE: 2004 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

      Disputes - international:
      China continues to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the disputed alluvial islands at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers and a small island on the Argun River as part of the 2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation; the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kurils," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; about a third of the boundary with Georgia remains undelimited and none of it demarcated with several small, strategic segments remaining in dispute; OSCE observers monitor volotile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; equidistant seabed treaties have been signed with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in the Caspian Sea but no consensus on dividing the water column among the littoral states; Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone; Russia continues to reject signing and ratifying the joint 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia; the Russian Parliament refuses to consider ratification of the boundary treaties with Estonia and Latvia, but in May 2003, ratified land and maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, which ratified the 1997 treaty in 1999, legalizing limits of former Soviet republic borders; a simplified transit regime was adopted in July 2003 for residents of the Kaliningrad coastal exclave to travel through Lithuania to Russia; delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine is complete, but boundary through the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and on-going expert-level discussions; Ukraine protests Russia's construction of a causeway in the direction of Ukrainian-administered Tuzla Island in the Kerch Strait; Kazakhstan and Russia will complete delimitation of their interstate border in 2004 and demarcation is underway; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US in the Bering Sea

      Illicit drugs:
      limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; heroin increasingly popular in domestic market


      NOTE: The information regarding Russia on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Russia Transnational Issues 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Russia Transnational Issues 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    http://www.immigration-usa.com/wfb2004/russia/russia_issues.html

    Revised 21-May-04
    Copyright © 2004 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)


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