Ukraine Interested in Joining Trans-Caspian Pipeline
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that Ukraine is interested in participating the Trans-Caspian pipeline project during a meeting with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev today.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline, which would run from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, aims to bring gas from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to Europe, bypassing Russia. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices and Ukraine's participation in gas transit routes make the Trans-Caspian pipeline an attractive alternative to Russian supplies and routes.
"Ukraine is interested in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, the construction of which is being studied by Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan," Ria Novosti reports the Prime Minister told the President.
Participation in the pipeline could serve to enflame current tensions between Russia and Ukraine due to Russian objections to the Trans-Caspian pipeline. Russia has previously said that it does not believe the pipeline, which would run under the Caspian Sea, would be an environmentally sound project.
Ukraine has previously said that it is seeking alternative supplies for gas along alternative routes, with Prime Minister Azarov saying the country was seeking to buy less gas than previously taken from Russian Gazprom.