Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma discussed with Estonian Foreign Minister Toomas Ilves in Kyiv the proposal to create a transit corridor that would unite the Caspian, Black, and Baltic seas. A transit route for Caspian oil to Europe via Ukraine, proposed recently by Kyiv, would be the centerpiece of such a corridor (see the Monitor, June 10, and Fortnight in Review, June 12). Ilves expressed Estonia’s interest in the oil transit and readiness to invest in the expansion of Ukraine’s Pivdenny oil terminal, a key way station along that route. (Eastern Economist Daily, June 15; UNIAN, June 13). Kuchma discussed the project last month at a tripartite meeting with the presidents of Poland and Lithuania, who expressed their countries’ interest in having Caspian oil transited to the Baltic coast via Ukraine–the shortest route for such transit.
NATO-SPONSORED EXERCISE UNDERWAY IN THE BLACK SEA.