Jamestown Hosts President Basescu to Discuss Black Sea and Caspian Region Energy Issues

Transcript of President Basescu’s Speech Released

Contact: Jonathan Hutzley, +1 202.483.1405

WASHINGTON, DC (8/3/06)–On July 28, more than 250 people attended a conference hosted by The Jamestown Foundation entitled "Caspian Energy Exports and the Black Sea Corridor" at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. The keynote speaker of the conference was President Traian Basescu of Romania, who also gave a speech entitled, "Romania: An Energy Gateway to Western Europe," detailing Romania’s important role in becoming an energy bridgehead for Caspian energy resources. The topic was of utmost importance considering how energy supplies to Western Europe were halted this past winter. In part, he emphasized the growing importance of establishing alternative shipping routes for crude oil and gas through the Caspian and Black Sea regions given Gazprom’s recent heavy-handed treatment of energy supplies to its neighbors both in Western Europe and in the Caucasus.

This conference can be seen as a culmination of events focusing on The Jamestown Foundation’s contributions to the discussions concerning Europe’s growing energy dependency on Russia and the implications it has for European energy security. In February 2006, Jamestown sponsored another conference focusing on the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis.

The recent Jamestown conference was spearheaded by Jamestown Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor. One of the foremost experts on energy affairs in the Baltics, Belarus-Ukraine-Moldova, the South Caucasus, and the Caspian, Mr. Socor has published a multitude of articles related to Eurasian energy security.

A compilation of articles that Mr. Socor has written for Jamestown’s Eurasia Daily Monitor, entitled "The Current Status of Petroleum Politics in the Caspian Region," can be found here:

Other participants in the conference included: Ambassador Steven Mann, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State; Lana Ekimoff, the Director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy; Richard Ennis, the Managing Director and Head of Natural Resources of ING Capital LLC; and Edward C. Chow, an international energy consultant.

Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, and Eurasia. Jamestown’s research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.