Victor Yushchenko has said Ukraine appreciates Europe’s assistance in the construction of the Odesa-Brody-Plock oil pipeline and hopes to start building its Brody-Plock section soon, according to the President`s press-office.

      “We urge the European Union to help involve Europe’s leading companies and financial institutions in this project,” he said at the tenth summit “Ukraine-EU” in Helsinki.

      The President called on the European Commission to help Ukraine experimentally transport Caspian oil from Brody to the Czech city of Kralupy via Slovakia’s transportation network.

      Mr. Yushchenko said Ukraine was ready to join the Nabukko gas pipeline project, particularly construct some of its sections in Ukraine.

      “We want to build a constructive dialogue with all the participants of the energy market,” he stated, adding that Ukraine could confirm its international obligations to transport energy to the EU.

      The Head of State also said Ukraine had sent its proposals on the formulation of an EU energy strategy to the European Commission last May.

      “The integration of the Ukrainian energy system into the European energy network is a part of Ukraine’s strategic ambition to join the European Union,” he said.

      Mr. Yushchenko said Ukraine wanted to create a pan-European energy system to ensure transparency and introduce common rules for all its participants. He said the energy sector was “a strategic priority of development” for our country, as well as for other sovereign states. He admitted that energy issues often became “weapons of political blackmail and pressure, posing a serious threat to Europe’s energy security.”

      He said the Caspian region boasted large oil and gas reserves but did not have a direct channel to transport energy to Europe and was thus considering alternative projects, some of them aimed at the Asian continent. 

      The President opined that the European Union should be interested in turning these energy resources in the European direction. He also said Ukraine was thereby ready to hold talks on the European use of the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline.

      “We are ready to maximally involve major oil producers in this project,” he said, urging EU officials to politically support this idea.

      In his speech, Yuriy Nedashkovsky, Deputy Energy Minister, said Ukraine was successfully implementing the memorandum on energy cooperation with the EU. He promised the EU would receive Ukraine’s report on nuclear power plants next week.

      Finland’s Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said the EU welcomed this week’s gas deal between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

      “The European Union appreciates Ukraine’s role as an energy transporter,” he said. “The European Union will support Ukraine’s energy security policies and help it in the nuclear sector.” 

      President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso praised the memorandum on energy cooperation. He said this document would work in 2007, adding that the EU planned to invest 100 million euros in Ukraine’s energy sector.