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Kiev energy summit seeks diversification of energy supply routes to Europe
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10:38, May 24, 2008

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Baltic, Black Sea and Caspian Sea states leaders met in Kiev on Friday to discuss issues related to energy security and diversification of energy supply routes to Europe.

The summit was part of Ukraine's efforts to become a transport corridor for oil from the Caspian Sea to eastern Europe, an effort that challenges Russia's traditional domination of energy supplies in the region.

Addressing the summit, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko urged the regional nations to work together to improve the "reliability and transparency" of European energy supplies.

"We are talking about creating a new culture of transit of energy supplies from East to West. A culture that will minimize political and other threats to energy security," Yushchenko said.

Yushchenko also voiced hope that summit participants would make a final decision to complete the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline, running from Ukraine's Black Sea coast to Brody, near the Polish border. The project is set to pump Caspian oil to Central Europe, bypassing Russia.

European countries need the shortest access to Caspian oil, he said, adding the project should be the most efficient.

Ukraine started building the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline in 2001,and separate legs of around 500 km have yet to be built in both Ukraine and Poland. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Lithuania have expressed willingness to join the project.

At a press conference after the summit, Yushchenko said the meeting marked the beginning of a dialogue on setting up a safe "transit energy space."

The heads of state from Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland also expressed their common interest in establishing a new energy transit corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

Source: Xinhua

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