Ukraine, Kiev / special corr. Trend E.Huseynov / The Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko thinks that regional initiatives, like the international organization GUAM, are very important for the progression of national interests of post-Soviet countries, such as Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
The key task of the Baku summit of GUAM is to form the pragmatic content, which will provide further prospects in relations among member-countries of the organization, Yushchenko stated in an interview with Trend and some Azerbaijani media outlets on 13 June.
GUAM, uniting Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, was established in 1997. GUAM was granted status of an international organization in 2006 at its first summit was in Ukraine. The forthcoming summit will be the second summit of GUAM.
A Trend special correspondent reported from Kiev that Yushchenko outlined regional economic projects, first of all the economic complex, as the most important issues to be discussed at the Baku summit.
"At the recent Energy summit in Warsaw I discussed with my counterparts, including the Azerbaijani President, ways of upgrading and expanding opportunities of an alternative energy supply to the region and the European market as a whole. We particularly mulled over the Odessa-Brody project, which is of great importance to us, and the European Union, as well as north Europe," he announced. This is a new market for Azerbaijani oil and a new project for Europe. The EU supported this project and allocated a grant for the development of a feasibility study of the project. An international group has been established for the project, which also includes experts from energy ministries and administrations of Azerbaijan. "Thus, it can be one of our significant projects," the President emphasized.
Yushchenko regarded transport projects as economic, mentioning the railway from Baku to Georgia and Turkey, which will also involve Ukrainian companies engaged in equipment material supplies.
The second important transport project is the ferry passage Kerch - Poti - Batumi. "A group of experts from relevant state administrations are developing a basis for the project We hope to commission this project officially next year" the Ukrainian President assured.
Yushchenko regards the integration of the four countries in free trade as important. "This decision has been made and now the adaptation of this regime with every country is underway. So, bilateral agreements that have been concluded so far, are under going expert analysis and the parts which fall short of free trade zone are excluded," he stressed.
The Ukrainian President regarded security projects as another important package of issues within GUAM. "We come from the position that the establishment of a peacekeeping battalion, authorized to work with a mandate from the UN Security Council and OSCE in conflict regions, including GUAM, will be very interesting to consider. Discussions on the issue are intensifying and I think the Baku summit will seriously advance this issue," he added.
Speaking of possible initiatives by Ukraine at the forthcoming GUAM summit in Baku, the President outlined issues regarding aviation construction, and informed of new documents developed by the Antonov Construction Bureau. He attaches great importance to the idea of the establishment of a satellite working on joint use mode. "Moreover, it is very important for us to carry out political coordination on other issues of our cooperation and mutual relations in any process in and out of the region, to form a unified consolidated position of the GUAM countries with respect to development in Europe and in the world," he said.