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Ukraine a key player in some energy projects

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 18
The Batumi energy summit was transformed into a conference after the Presidents of Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and Azerbaijan refused to participate in it. Ukraine’s President Yushchenko was not able to attend due to yesterday’s elections. Therefore the meeting was held at Minister level only.

Polish newspaper Puls biznesu gave a very pessimistic assessment of the current energy situation in the region in an article published recently under the headline Caspian Fantasy Lost. The initial project to transport Caspian oil to Poland and the Baltic countries through Georgia and Ukraine was mooted in 2007 during the Krakow summit. Implementation of this project would have brought further energy independence to some eastern European countries and Polish President Kaczinski hailed it, but the newspaper cited several obstacles to such a project becoming viable.

Azerbaijan has limited capacity to supply oil to a Odessa-Brody-Gdansk pipeline and Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan making up any shortfall is a rather hypothetical prospect at the moment. Furthermore, whoever the next President of Ukraine is they will seriously modify the country’s economic policy.

The Azeri side however is more enthusiastic and Azeri PM Artur Rasizade has supported the idea of sending Azeri oil along this route. He said that Azeri President Ilham Aliev supported this and analogous projects which would further develop the region.