Ukrainian PM to discuss oil, planes, pipelines in Iran
Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yushenko will pay a two-day visit to Iran beginning Tuesday to discuss purchases of Iranian oil, a new gas pipeline project and cooperation in aviation.
Yushenko may have an opportunity to meet with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami during his stay, according to Ukrainian media.
The visit follows one last week by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi to Kiev during which the two governments announced they were looking at ways of transporting natural gas to central and western Europe through Ukraine.
Yushenko will seek to make progress on the pipeline project and on plans to purchase Iranian oil, government spokeswoman Natalia Zarudna said. Ukraine, heavily dependent on Russia for its energy needs, is actively seeking new suppliers of oil and gas.
During his visit to Kiev, Kharazi said Iran was ready to help Ukraine meet its energy demands.On Wednesday, the Ukrainian prime minister will also attend the first test flight of a new medium-haul Antonov AN-140 plane built in Iran with technical assistance from Ukraine.
But Yushenko was quoted by Interfax as saying that he will stick to his previous commitments to not provide Iran with technology that could be used to build its nuclear capabilities.
Ukraine and Iran will sign two agreements during Yushenko's visit on trade cooperation and on setting up a joint bank, Zarudna said.
Trade between the two countries totaled $115.2 million in 2000, according to Ukrainian government figures.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)