VILNIUS, Lithuania, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine created Wednesday a consortium to build a gas and oil transport corridor bypassing Russia.
The new route would link the Caspian and Baltic seas through a pipeline traversing Ukraine that can start operating by 2011.
Under the plan, the Odessa-Brody pipeline, which runs from Ukraine to Poland, will be extended to Plock, Poland, so crude can be shipped to Gdansk, Poland, on the Baltic. The pipeline could eventually reach Klaipeda, Lithuania.
The network would carry Azerbaijani oil to Poland and Western European markets, bypassing Russia, the region’s main energy supplier.
The five nations also agreed Tuesday to meet in 2008 in Kiev, Ukraine, to map out the schedule of the planned pipeline.