Trip Will Focus on World Energy Security, Energy Resource Development, and Nuclear Nonproliferation
WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman next week will travel to Moscow, Russia; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Kiev, Ukraine, where he will hold discussions with senior officials on a variety of energy and nuclear safety issues, including encouraging the development of diverse energy resources, promoting market transparency and investment, and advancing nuclear nonproliferation.
"A healthy, vibrant and transparent global energy market is critical to the economic success of America and all nations," Secretary Bodman said. "Russia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are important international partners of the United States. I look forward to discussing ways that we can strengthen cooperation on energy and nuclear nonproliferation issues and ensure the continued growth of the energy sector in this region.”
In Moscow, Secretary Bodman will meet with, among others, Viktor Khristenko, Minister of Industry and Energy, and Alexander Rumyantsev, Director of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency. Their discussions will center on progress in achieving the Bratislava Initiative, an agreement struck by Presidents Bush and Putin earlier this year with two primary goals for the US Department of Energy and its Russian counterparts -- energy cooperation and nuclear security cooperation. In expanding energy cooperation, Secretary Bodman and his Russian counterparts seek to enhance energy trade and investment in Russia, increase markets for Russian oil and gas, and promote efficient development and use of energy resources. The Bratislava initiatives also enhance nuclear security cooperation between the two countries and encourage the safe use and development of nuclear power and increased nuclear security.
Traveling next to Baku, Azerbaijan, Secretary Bodman will participate in the "First Oil" Ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Cayhan (BTC) Pipeline, an East-West transport corridor for Central Asian oil and gas.
The goals of the BTC pipeline project are to unlock the vast store of energy from the Caspian Sea by providing a new crude oil pipeline from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to Turkey, and onward to world markets. The BTC pipeline has been a major policy goal of the Bush Administration, and is one of the recommendations in the National Energy Policy that was established early on by the Administration. The ceremony marks the first loading of oil in the BTC pipeline.
In Kiev, Ukraine, the final leg of the trip, Secretary Bodman will meet with President Victor Yushenko and with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to discuss the advantages of developing a market-based energy sector that attracts Western investment. He will also discuss with National Security and Defense Council Secretary Petro Poroshenko the return to Russia of Ukraine's Russian-origin high enriched nuclear fuel, and the conversion of its research reactors to the use of low enriched uranium.
Also in Kiev, Secretary Bodman will be a principal speaker at Kiev's Eighth Annual Energy Conference titled "Energy Security of Europe for the XXI Century -- Eurasia Energy Corridor." The conference theme focuses on world energy security, development of energy resources and investment in Ukraine's fuel and energy sector.
During his discussions with senior officials of each country, Secretary Bodman will emphasize America's interest in generating greater international cooperation to encourage energy security for America and our international partners. He will also focus on using technology to enhance energy resource development in the most efficient and environmentally responsible manner, and the benefits of transparent markets that attract foreign investment.
Anne Womack Kolton, 202/586-4940
Drew Malcomb, 202/586-5806