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Kiev, Baku discuss energy strategies

Oct. 29, 2010 at 7:10 AM   |   Comments

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KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan and Ukraine agreed to establish a working group to increase the Azeri supplies of energy resources, the Ukrainian president announced.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych welcomed his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev to his offices in Kiev to discuss trade relations.

"We have agreed to establish a joint working group to elaborate a strategic agreement between our countries," a statement from the Ukrainian president's office read. "In particular, it will provide for a significant increase in supplies of energy resources from Azerbaijan to Ukraine."

Yanukovych said Kiev felt Azerbaijan had "great prospects" in the energy field. Aliyev told the Ukrainian president that diversification of oil and gas transit routes was dependent on the "effectiveness of cooperation" between the two countries.

Kiev is facing pressure to revamp its gas transport system and repair its reputation as a transit nation after a series of rows with Moscow sounded alarms in the European energy sector.

As much as 80 percent of Russia's gas bound for European consumers heads through the Soviet-era gas pipeline network in Ukraine.

Yanukovych said, however, he didn't rule out extending the level of cooperation to third countries "such, as Russia and countries of the Caspian basin."

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