Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council and the Kyiv-based International Center for Policy Studies held a conference yesterday: “The Ukrainian Route for Caspian Oil to Europe.” Oil and Gas Committee Deputy Chairman Valery Shuliko, head of the government’s task force for the project, argued that the Ukrainian overland route is only half the length of the maritime tanker route, and is also the most cost-effective in terms of transport costs per unit of volume. The Ukrainian planners consider the possibilities of laying either a Ukrainian-controlled pipeline or one controlled by international companies. Kyiv would prefer a partnership with the Caspian oil suppliers. Discussions on the project are being held with the LUKoil, British Petroleum, Statoil, Shell and Chevron companies and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (Eastern Economist Daily, July 17); for background see the Monitor, May 26-27 and June 10)
SHEVARDNADZE RECUPERATES AFTER SUCCESSFUL SURGERY.