Bucharest, 30 September 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian Economic Minister Nenad Porges said yesterday that his country strongly supports a pipeline project linking Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta to Central European markets.
Porges said Croatia favors a route linking Constanta to the Italian Adriatic port of Trieste and using some existing pipelines in Croatia. He did not say if Zagreb prefers the route to pass through Serbia or Hungary.
The United States has said it favors a route bypassing Serbia, while the major Italian oil firm Eni endorses the Serbian route.
Porges made the comments on the closing day of an international conference in Bucharest highlighting Romania's bid to serve as a transit point for Caspian oil to European markets.
Romanian Foreign Minister Andrei Plesu said that Romania's policy on Caspian oil transit is based on regional cooperation. He said closer cooperation rather than competition will make the transit bids of Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria stronger.
Former Romanian finance minister Daniel Dainu, who was fired last week, told the conference today that multinational lending will be increasingly important in the project because, in his view, private financing for projects in emerging markets is evaporating due to global economic crises.