Russia’s Fuel and Energy Ministry has initiated the formation of a Transbalkan Oil Pipeline company, with Bulgarian and Greek participation, to prepare feasibility studies and eventually to lay a pipeline from Bulgaria’s Black Sea port Burgas to the Greek port Alexandroupolis on the Aegean, the Petroleum Information Agency reported September 5. The initial idea had been to use such a pipeline for transporting Russian oil bound for Western Europe, bypassing the Bosporus and Dardanelles where Turkey restricts the passage of oil tankers. But Russia currently envisages building a Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline for Azeri oil, seeking to have it piped first to Russia’s Black Sea port Novorossiisk and thence tanked to Burgas, piped to Alexandroupolis, and tanked to Western Europe. The international oil consortium in Azerbaijan is increasingly likely, however, to opt for the shorter route by pipeline via Georgia to Turkey’s Mediterranean port Ceyhan.
Ukraine Seen Near Membership in Council of Europe.