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    MOSCOW, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed a law "On ratification of the cooperation agreement on the fulfillment of the project concerning the integration of Druzhba and Adria pipelines for the transportation of extra volumes of Russian oil (approximately 15 mln metric tons annually), the statement on the official web-site of the Ukrainian President reads.

    The agreement defines the main principles of the cooperation on the oil transportation to the world markets via the pipelines with the transshipment at the Croatian port of Omishal.

    The parties are obliged to provide freedom for transportation of extra volumes of oil via their territories, not to take steps, which contradict the present agreement, can result in definite restrictions or can lay obstacles to the fulfillment of the project on Druzhba and Adria pipelines integration.

    The commissioner organizations, responsible for the fulfillment of the agreement are: Transneft (Russia), Gomeltransneft-Druzhba (Belarus), Transpetrol (Slovakia), Mol (Hungary), Ukrtransnafta (Ukraine), JANAF (Croatia).

    The parties enter the agreement for a 10-year term, which will be automatically prolonged for further 10-year periods, if the parties do not agree in written form to introduce amendments to the present agreement. Any party has the right to withdraw from the agreement, after having notified the other parties no later than 12 months before.

    The project of Druzhba and Adria pipelines integration was initiated by the Russian company Transneft. The project envisages the formation of the export route for the transportation of Russian and some of the CIS countries oil to the world markets, including to the North American market via the Croatian port of Omishal by means of increased transshipment and increased productivity of pipelines output capacity.

    The route covers the distance of more than 3,000 km and lies through the territories of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.

    Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Ukraine signed the Intergovernmental cooperation agreement on the fulfillment of the current project on December 16th, 2002. The Ukrainian Supreme Rada (Parliament) adopted the law on February 4th, 2004.

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