On July 12, 2012, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych completed negotiations over the fate of Tuzla Island. At a joint meeting, the heads of Russia and Ukraine signed a statement on the delimitation of borders in the Kerch Strait.
According to the director of the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Voloshin, the fate of Tuzla Island was not even discussed. At the intergovernmental negotiations, it was exclusively about the delimitation of the boundaries of water areas - the lines of the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait.
If you look into history, you can understand the words of Oleg Voloshin. Tuzla Island appeared in 1925 - a strong storm washed away the isthmus of the spit, fishermen manually widened the strait. A piece of land was located between the Krasnodar Region and the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which were part of the RSFSR. Tuzla Island had no status. But in January 1941, a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR included the island in the Crimean ASSR.
In February 1954, the Crimean region became part of the Ukrainian SSR. Accordingly, the island of Tuzla initially began to belong to the Ukrainian SSR. This fact was not disputed by anyone even during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
For the first time, the fate of Tuzla Island and its belonging to the Krasnodar Territory was raised in 1997. The articles and books by Alexander Travnikov listed the territories belonging to the Krasnodar Territory. Among them was the island of Tuzla. Then few people paid attention to this topic. However, at the end of 2003, the authorities of the Krasnodar Territory raised the issue of building a bank protection dam. The workers were stopped by Ukrainian border guards.
In December of the same year, the heads of state signed a document on cooperation and joint use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. Nobody raised the question of the ownership of Tuzla Island.
They returned to the issue of Tuzla Island only in 2012. Putin and Yanukovych signed a joint document on the delimitation of the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait. Strategic partnership and joint use of sea routes will take place in the spirit of good-neighborly relations and friendship between Russia and Ukraine.
At the same time, the Ukrainian side insisted on preserving the existing borders and guaranteed a compromise in resolving economic issues.
There were still disputes over the Tuzla Island. Konstantin Grishenko stressed that the Ukrainian side also insisted on drawing a border in the water area of the Kerch Strait in accordance with the lines indicated on the maps of the USSR. But at the same time, the agreement on the joint use of the channel was not challenged by either side. Vladimir Putin gave a brief explanation, the borders were only visual on the maps. There was no legal form for this section.