Azerbaijan to increase oil and gas supplies to Ukraine

Oct 28, 2010 12:00 AM

A strategic agreement is to be drawn up on increased oil and gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych said.

He was addressing a joint press conference in Kiev with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev. "We agreed to set up a joint working group to draw up a strategic agreement between our countries. It will envisage a significant increase in the volume of energy supplies from Azerbaijan to Ukraine," Yanukovych said.

He was careful to leave the door open to Russia. "We are working on mechanisms for this program. We don't rule out third countries being involved in this collaboration, such as, for example, Russia and the Caspian basin countries."

President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan had plans to increase fuel exports. "We have already increased oil supplies to Ukraine this year and the year is not over yet, more than a mm tons of Azeri oil have been supplied to the markets of Ukraine and we expect to increase supplies in the future," Aliyev told. He said the increase would be the result of a planned increase in oil production.

The president added that in the long term Azerbaijan might be a transit point for oil from its neighbours across the Caspian to Ukraine. "This project will also help the better integration of the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. We will, thereby, create another very reliable energy corridor to link the energy-rich Caspian Sea with the markets of Ukraine, with the markets of Europe," Aliyev said. This would be large-scale energy cooperation "bringing benefits to all".

Yanukovych said that Ukraine was keen to see Azerbaijan increase oil and gas production as soon as possible. He added that Kiev wanted to see the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline pumping oil from the Black Sea to the border with Poland. "All of our subsequent steps will be aimed at filling the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline and having it operate directly," the Ukrainian president said.

Bohdan Sokolovsky, at the time the Ukrainian president's representative on international energy security, said in January that Ukrtatnafta planned to import 3 mm tons of Caspian oil in 2010. Not only about oil The two presidents signed a joint declaration following their one-to-one meeting and also signed the minutes of the second sitting of the council of the presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

Both presidents praised the state of relations between their countries and said that a great deal of work had gone into preparing the meeting of the presidents' council. Oil is not the only issue of concern for Azerbaijan and Ukraine. "High-tech collaboration is another issue on the agenda. We think it has good development prospects," Yanukovych said. "Ukraine is Azerbaijan's second largest trading partner. Of course, we want to improve that," he continued. "I am enormously pleased to say that we believe in the prospects and we will make every effort to work on them," Yanukovych said.

His sentiments were echoed by his Azerbaijani counterpart. "I can see that the prospects for expanding fully fledged collaboration are extremely encouraging," Ilham Aliyev told. "We have confirmed once again our genuine desire to increase political cooperation and consultations, to provide mutual support to one another in international organizations, to cooperate actively in regional affairs and, especially, in the integration policy of the Caspian and Black Sea basin," he said.

The Azerbaijani president also welcomed the increase in overall trade between the two countries. "We must make maximum use of the potential of our economies, our enterprises, in order to work together more actively and give our work substance. All the prerequisites are in place for this," he said. Invitation to Baku The Azerbaijani president invited his Ukrainian counterpart to visit Baku. "I would like to take the opportunity in the presence of journalists to present an official invitation to Viktor Fedorovich to pay an official visit at his convenience so that our contacts remain constant we see each other more often," Ilham Aliyev said.

The Azerbaijani and Ukrainian foreign ministers signed an agreement on cooperation on archives in the presence of the presidents.

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