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Batumi energy summit downgraded due to presidents' absence
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-01-15 15:45
An energy summit scheduled for Thursday in Batumi, western Georgia, was downgraded to an "energy conference at the highest level" as some presidents expected to show up were absent.

Georgian Foreign Ministry said that the changes were made after presidents of Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine, who were expected to attend the meeting, did not come.

Several prime ministers and senior officials from 10 countries attended the opening session of the downgraded meeting, including representatives of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Irakli Vankua, a staff member of Georgian Foreign Ministry, said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was held up by his election campaign and did not come to Georgia.

Vankua said that the organizers agreed to postpone the event as Ukraine played an important role in the Southern Energy Corridor project, one of the major topics of the summit.

Batumi Energy Conference is dedicated to advance further development of the Southern Corridor initiative, an attempt of the European Union and other participant countries to strengthen energy security through diversification of sources, routes and suppliers.

The Southern Corridor initiative is aimed to transit energy resources from Caspian region to Europe via Azerbaijan and Georgia.

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