KIEV, October 19 (RIA Novosti)
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- Nord Stream set for official launch
- Russia ready to discuss gas transit consortium
- Ukraine's Yanukovych brings "interesting proposals" to Russia - minister
The Nord and South Streams gas pipelines appeared when Ukraine became an unreliable gas transit country after several gas rows with Russia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Wednesday.
“When did North Stream appear? When Ukraine demonstrated a lack of reliability. When did the South Stream and talks around it appear? Again when Europe was freezing and all these talks like 'How to bypass Ukraine' popped up,” Yanukovych said, adding that his fate is “to do all his best to make international partners trust in Ukraine.”
The Nord Stream, which will link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea bypassing Ukraine, was launched in early September. Russia began the project after a number of disputes over gas prices with Ukraine. Such rows have left parts of Europe without Russian gas supplies on two occasions since 2006.
The South Stream pipeline that will transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas under the Black Sea to central and southern Europe is aimed to diversify Russian gas routes away from Ukraine.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.