TBILISI. APRIL 16. INTERFAX C.N
TRAL EUROPE - Georgia could be ready to transit Caspian oil to Western Europe within two years, Polish President Lech Kaczynski told Interfax Central Europe Monday, although a two-year time frame would likely to be too early for Poles.
"We were talking about a time-frame of two to four years, but a time-frame of two years is too short for us," Kaczynski said after meeting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi.
The Georgia presidential stop is the latest effort in Poland's strategy to diversify oil and gas supplies and thus become less dependent on Russian energy. Poland has been pushing for Georgia to take part in a project to pump oil from the Caspian Sea to Poland and Western Europe via the Caucasus, the Black Sea and Ukraine.
Georgia is key to the project, as any pipeline from Central Asia to the Black Sea bypassing Russia would have to run through its territory.
Including Saakashvili, six heads of state are expected to attend a coming Polish summit on the project, Kaczynski said. The president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, has already accepted the invitation. His Kazakhstani counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has also expressed an interest in the summit, though adding the condition of Russian participation.
The presidents of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, and Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, are also expected to be present at the summit.