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KREMLIN ADVISER WARNS EUROPEANS ON ENERGY. Presidential adviser Igor Shuvalov said on May 16 that Russia is committed to being a reliable energy supplier to the West, but will also defend its interests, Interfax reported. "Nobody had any questions about the reliability of Russian supplies of energy before the incident with Ukraine," Shuvalov said at a press conference in Moscow. "If you address real information sources, Russian companies have fully honored their contractual obligations. In the entire history of relations with European countries, Russia and the former Soviet Union have never used energy supplies for political purposes. We are an absolutely transparent and reliable supplier," he added. Shuvalov said that if European countries, concerned about excessive dependence on Russia, seek alternative energy sources , then Moscow will need to protect itself by seeking other markets. BW
OUR UKRAINE REPORTEDLY SUSPENDS COALITION TALKS WITH ORANGE-REVOLUTION ALLIES. Roman Zvarych of Our Ukraine told journalists in Kyiv on May 16 that his bloc has suspended talks on the creation of a ruling coalition with the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialist Party, Ukrainian media reported. Zvarych explained that the move was taken in response to Yuliya Tymoshenko's earlier public statements that her bloc will get the post of prime minister and the Socialists that of parliamentary speaker. He stressed that Our Ukraine will not accept an "ultimatum." Zvarych also said that Our Ukraine wants the three 2004 Orange Revolution allies to request that President Viktor Yushchenko hold a meeting with them. "[We want to request that] the president receive leaders of these political forces in order to find a joint way out of this situation," Zvarych added. Yushchenko is Our Ukraine's founder and honorary chairman. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Turchynov of the Tymoshenko Bloc told journalists on May 17 that the talks between the three forces were to be restarted later the same day, UNIAN reported. JM
UKRAINE CONTINUES LITIGATION WITH ROMANIA OVER BLACK-SEA ISLET. Ukraine on May 16 passed on to the Hague-based International Court of Justice a memorandum concerning the delimitation of the continental shelf near Serpents Island in the Black Sea, Interfax-Ukraine reported. The memorandum is a response to a similar document that Romania provided the court in August 2005 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," August 17, 2005). Since 1997, Ukraine and Romania have been locked in a bitter dispute over how to demarcate their maritime border around the tiny island. The continental shelf is reportedly rich in oil and gas deposits. At the heart of the dispute lies Ukraine's claim that it has the ownership rights to territorial waters around what it considers its island. On the other hand, Romania argues that Serpents Island is just a rock deposit and Kyiv has no right to claim its ownership to the adjoining sea basin. JM