US president George Bush congratulated Russia, Kazakhstan and Oman as well as American companies Chevron-Texaco and Exxon-Mobil on the beginning of work of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). A special statement made by Bush was circulated in the White House in Washington in connection with the official opening of the CPC. According to the American president, the creation of the CPC shows the whole world that the USA, Russia and Kazakhstan are cooperating with each other for the prosperity and stability in the region. Having declared that the creation of the CPC is an important step on the way to transparent and stable investment climate in this part of the world, Bush stressed that the project of the consortium promotes the realisation of a new national energy strategy elaborated by his administration, which stipulates the diversification of oil deliveries to the USA and the construction of a network of Caspian oil pipelines along such routes as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, a Turkish port on the coast of Iskanderun Strait of the Mediterrannean, Baku-Georgian port Supsa on the Black Sea coast, Baku-Novorossiisk as well as a gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum in eastern Turkey.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea