Croatia signs transport agreement with Kazakhstan

Croatia was particularly interested in transporting oil and oil derivatives from Kazakhstan, Croatian President Stipe Mesic said after a meeting with Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Details on the agreement were not immediately disclosed.

Kazakhstan, which has been under international pressure to liberalize its trade regime and implement democratic reforms, plans to join the Geneva-based WTO in 2007.

Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan "values ... the support Croatia has expressed regarding Kazakhstan's entry into the WTO."

Mesic declined to elaborate on whether both leaders discussed the Druzhba-Adria pipeline - a project aimed at creating an export route for Russian oil to the world market, including North America, via the deep-water Croat port of Omisalj.

The pipeline, which would be more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) long, would bypass the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, going through Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, according to the AP.

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