February 14, 2007
In a scene reminiscent of the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War, Lithuania’s president said Tuesday he is working on a plan to circumvent Russia’s energy hold on Eastern Europe by opening its ports for oil transports from elsewhere. Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine were “looking at alternative routes” using sea transport of energy supplies through its Baltic port of Klaipeda, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus told reporters in Washington.
The oil would come from Norway, Venezuela and elsewhere and be shipped inland via rail to “cover the immediate needs for everyone,” Adamkus said. Adamkus said he had discussed the plan with US Vice President Dick Cheney. The US is critical of anti-democracy trends in Belarus, but Adamkus defended supplying Belarus on humanitarian grounds. “Belarus is affected as much as Ukraine in the manipulations by Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Adamkus said. “This is not aimed at supporting a regime but rather responding to the needs of the Belarus people.” Earlier, Adamkus called on the European Union to present a common front to Russia on matters of energy and democracy. Adamkus met with US President George Bush on Monday.Playfuls