KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- With commitments from Azerbaijan, delivery of oil from the Odessa-Brody pipeline in Ukraine to markets in Belarus is a top priority, officials say.
In May, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told a council tasked with putting a Eurasian oil corridor into practice that Odessa-Brody should move in its intended direction toward Europe as soon as possible.
The 419-mile pipeline had run in the reverse direction toward Russia following supply concerns.
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine agreed in 2008 to implement a Eurasian oil-transport corridor, which envisions expansions to Odessa-Brody to Poland and on to Europe.
The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan and other partners had agreed to a test run on filling Odessa-Brody with Azeri oil.
Ihor Likhovy, the Ukrainian envoy to Belarus, said with Azeri commitments for Odessa-Brody oil, Caspian deliveries to eastern European energy customers are a priority, the Interfax news agency in Ukraine reports.
"The Odessa-Brody project on Caspian oil supplies to the Baltic states has recently become more urgent," he said.
Energy ties between Russia and Ukraine are tense following a January row that prompted Russian energy giant Gazprom to disrupt gas supplies for weeks.
The pipeline carries around 105 million barrels of oil per year.