Ukraine, Poland urge faster Odessa-Brody oil pipeline extension

KIEV, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski have made the extension of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to Poland a cooperation priority, the Ukrainian presidential press service said Wednesday.

The pipeline was initially designed to supply Caspian oil to Northern Europe, but has instead been used "in reverse mode" since 2004 to transport Russian oil south to the Mediterranean basin.

"Yushchenko and Kaczynski have set the extension of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to Plock as an unconditional priority in cooperation between Ukraine, Poland and the EU, and stressed the necessity of starting the practical implementation of the project soon," the press service said following the meeting.

Ukraine is a major transit route for oil exported to European markets, mainly by Russia. The country wants to improve its position as a transit nation and reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

Ukraine's president said in late October the country is ready to confirm its commitments to guarantee reliable energy deliveries to Europe on an international level.

"The integration of the Ukrainian energy system into the European network is in line with Ukraine's course toward accession to the EU," he said.

Yushchenko said Kiev is poised for talks on oil deliveries to Europe, and is ready to attract such oil-rich Caspian states as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. He added that financial issues still needed to be coordinated to complete the project.

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