Kyiv, April 13, 2016. Today some of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) members have very tense relations, some do not have diplomatic relations between them at all. “We are not going to turn a blind eye to it. Latest developments between Ukraine and Russia in particular are casting doubt on qualitative and quantitative activities of the organization,” said Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
He emphasized that the organization seeks to enhance economic cooperation. Regardless of the fact that economic relations are closely tied to politics, Ambassador Christides is convinced that cooperation in economic sector is possible even under complicated political and geographical conditions. “We are operating to help build confidence between the participants. We are an open window for a dialogue and understanding. In order to resolve the problems appropriate climate needs to be established for this,” explained the Ambassador.
He said the Permanent International Secretariat initiated a series of projects that engage all organization’s member states. They include a large-scale transportation projects – ring highway construction along the Black Sea. The route has been defined, at the moment documentation is being finalized and donors are being searched for. It is also planned to modernize 41 ports of different Black Sea states to improve the quality of the services and connection between them. Simplification of the procedure of crossing the borders between the countries and intensifying trade relations between them is underway. There are projects in the energy sector and green energy in particular. Forty five companies of the member states are taking part in them. In the framework of the “touristic” project it is planned to choose a “cultural port” of the Black Sea each year and organize the events that would attract attention to the culture of the region. “We just start negotiating and try to find the solution acceptable for all sides,” noted Christides. He emphasized that a decision is not adopted if at least one member state has objections. That’s why even in case of the ring highway along the Black Sea “disputable territories” are to be omitted.