In 2004, Ukraine started working on the Bistroe Channel that would provide an additional navigable link from the Black Sea to the Ukrainian section of the Danube Delta. However, because of the negative impact which this new channel may have upon the fragile ecosystem of the Delta, the European Union advised Ukraine to shut down the works. Romanian officials threatened to sue Ukraine at the International Court of Justice. Under the presidency of Kuchma, Ukraine had responded that Romania is just afraid of the competition that the new channel will bring, and continued working on the channel. Under the presidency of Yuschenko, who visited Romania in 2005, both sides agree that professionals should decide the fate of the channel. In the long-run, Ukraine plans to build a navigation channel, if not through Bistroe Channel then through another channel.
The delimitation of the continental shelf and of the economic exclusive zones in the Northern sector of the Western Black Sea basin was the object of an extended process of negotiations, which took place between 1967 and 1987, between Romania and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics – no agreement having been reached between the two Parties. After the dissolution of the USSR, this issue began to be discussed with the Ukrainian side.
The Treaty between Romania and Ukraine on the Romanian-Ukrainian State Border Regime, Collaboration and Mutual Assistance on Border Matters was signed at Cernăuţi, on 17 June 2003, by the presidents of Romania and Ukraine and entered into force following the exchange of the instruments of ratification, done at Mamaia, on 27 May 2004.
The European Union considers the construction of Bistroe-Channel illegal.Romania obtained the help of Hungary, Estonia and France, as well as the help of the european environment commissioner Stavros Dimas in the Bisroe Channel issue. But Ukraine considers that they don’t harm the delta, they just rebuild a channel that was functionable untill 1950. When the channel didn’t work anymore, that area had big economical problems; thea idea of Ukraine is to solve all these problems building the new channel. The Ukrainean authorities sent a letter to Romanian authorities, in wich was mentioned that they won’t stop the construction of the channel.
Although UE helps Romania in this problem, this help is in this moment theoretical, because they can’t do anything to countries that aren’t members of this union.