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Energy crime -Russia, Ukraine or Poland»

Authorities talk about new gas pipeline and more

Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma
failed on Monday to persuade visiting Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller to utter explicit opposition to the building of a new gas pipeline linking Russia and western Europe but bypassing Ukraine. At a press conference after meeting Kuchma, Miller said only after gaining a clear picture of Russia's proposal could Poland outline its own position on the proposed new pipeline, which would pass through Poland and Belarus. "Poland will not give its comments on a program whose implementation even the country itself is unsure of," he said. The view of the Ukrainian government on this issue is of "great importance" to Poland, he said. Visiting Poland in January, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with Polish leaders the possibility of building the new pipeline and both sides agreed to reach a deal on the affair by mid-February. A team of Russian officials are due to visit Poland in mid-February to discuss the issue. At the same press conference, Ukraine's Premier Anatoliy Kinah said the current gas pipeline that runs through Ukraine currently conveys 120 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe a year, far from its annual shipping capacity of about 170 billion cubic meters. Ukraine would not allow the amount of transit gas shipment to fall and would protect its strategic interests, Kinah stressed, adding that the European Union and Poland would side with Ukraine on the matter. According to the two premiers, Miller and Kuchma also discussed the participation in the global anti-terrorism alliance. Both leaders promised to take all necessary moves against tans-border organized crime such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and illegal migration. Miller, who was on a 24-hour official visit to Kiev, also held
separate talks with Supreme Council Chairman Ivan Plyuschch and