Representatives from Black Sea basin countries gathered in Crimea in Ukraine in late November to discuss ways of joining up the region economically in order to compete on a global scale. Top of the agenda were issues relating to tourism, infrastructure and attracting investment.

Delegations from Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as representatives from some non-Black Sea countries, attended the Black Sea Economic Forum in Yalta. Contracts were signed to agree bilateral co-operation between the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and such counterparts as Burgas Province in Bulgaria and Cebu Province in the Philippines, on energy and social and cultural-humanitarian exchanges.

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Natik Aliev, Azerbaijan’s minister of industry and energy, sees great potential in the development of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani collaboration in the energy sector. He said: “We’ve marked out long-term co-operation in two directions. In the first place, we’re interested in increasing the transport of oil to Ukraine, and that project is already partially being realised since, in the past six months, almost 1 million tonnes of oil have been delivered from Azerbaijan to Ukraine. Second, we’re interested in deliveries of liquefied gas to Ukraine. The project is already prepared on our side and we’re ready to sign.”