United Arab Emirates' Abu Dhabi Ports will help Kazakhstan to build a tanker fleet in the Caspian Sea, reducing the former Soviet republic's dependence on Russian transit, Kazakh state oil company KazMunayGaz said on Tuesday.
KazMunayGaz and Abu Dhabi Ports have agreed to set up a joint venture, it said, adding that it will also help to support offshore upstream projects and look into buying container ferries and dry bulk carriers.
Kazakhstan ships most of its crude to Europe by pipelines crossing Russia but is moving to diversify shipments because of the Ukraine crisis.
The European Union is trying to divert trade with China away from Russia, with one of the options being a route via Kazakhstan, the Caspian and the Caucasus. Russia, meanwhile, is increasing trade with Iran, which can also be routed through the Caspian Sea.
(Reuters - Reporting by Tamara Vaal; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by David Goodman)