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Azerbaijan: Transporting Oil Via Grozny Still A Possibility

Baku, 15 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Transporting oil via Grozny, the Chechen capital, to the Russian port of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea is the optimum oil transport solution, Natik Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan's state oil company, said yesterday.

He also said work is underway to rebuild about 200 kilometers of the Azerbaijani section of the pipeline. Plans call for it to be commissioned on December 15, as provided for in an inter-governmental oil transit agreement signed by Azerbaijan and Russia in January, 1996.

Aliyev made the statement after his remarks this week that if the situation in Chechnya deteriorates, Azerbaijan would accelerate construction of a pipeline from Baku to the port of Supsa on Georgia's coast.