President Victor Yushchenko on Wednesday spoke at a meeting in Vilnius to mark GUAM`s 10th anniversary and said energy issues should be at the top of the organization`s agenda.
Yushchenko said it was important to develop GUAM’s transit potential and open alternative energy routes to Central Europe. He welcomed a multilateral energy cooperation agreement which should be signed by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine later today and will regulate and facilitate the implementation of the Odesa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk oil pipeline project. “This is a unique page in the implementation of such a global project,” he said.
The president said Ukraine was “interested in fulfilling the energy potential of the Caspian, Black Sea and Baltic regions” and was ready to export electricity to Europe, particularly the Baltic states. “We fully support plans to build an energy bridge [between Asia and Europe],” he said and added that Ukraine was ready to participate in such projects.
Yushchenko said security issues were “more than important” for GUAM. “Ukraine today reaffirms its commitment to implementing this direction of our common activity,” he said, stressing the need to resolve GUAM’s frozen conflicts and praising the progress that has been achieved in settling the Trans-dniester conflict.
He described GUAM as a “unique project” enabling its members to have effective and productive national and bilateral cooperation and said GUAM was also developing ties with the European Union, the United Nations Organization, the United States of America and Japan.
Yushchenko said GUAM should implement regional projects, like extending the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline westwards to Poland’s Gdansk, building railroads in Georgia and opening a ferry link between Ukraine and Georgia. “We are absolutely committed to this action plan,” he said.