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25 Jun, 2007 22:38

Black Sea states sign declaration

The leaders of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation member states have signed a declaration setting out their plans for the future of the organisation at its 15th jubilee summit in Istanbul. The summit’s agenda was broad, ranging from energy and infrastruc

Summing up the results of this meeting and of Sunday's economic summit in Zagreb, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he was pleased with what had been achieved.

“It is well-known that the Balkans and the Black Sea have always been a zone of special interest for us. We have always had special relations with this region, both political and economic. This is due to a number of historical, ethnic and humanitarian reasons. It is quite natural that Russia, with its growing capabilities, is getting back to this area. It is not only in our national interest but also in the interests of our partners. I am very pleased with the results we have achieved during the last two days,” Mr Putin said.

Meantime, the Greek Prime Minister announced at the summit that his country is ready to join the Russian-Italian South Stream gas project. The new pipeline is expected to become an important gas artery connecting Russia and Europe.

South Stream will run some 900 KM along the bed of the Black Sea, reaching a maximum water depth of more than 2,000 meters and providing alternative routes for gas supplies.