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Putin to visit China, oil pipeline on agenda
Updated: 2006-03-16 16:16

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the possibility of building an oil pipeline from eastern Siberia to China, Russian Ambassador Sergei Razov said in Beijing Thursday morning.

Razov told a press conference that discussions on the feasibility of the construction of an oil pipeline extending from Russia's Skovorodino to the Russia-China border are underway between Transneft of Russia and China National Petroleum Corporation, which are to take charge of the pipeline construction.

The proposed pipeline will be a branch of a planned oil pipeline that runs from eastern Siberia to Russia's Pacific coast.

Lazov said Russia-China cooperation in the field of energy is "very important." He expressed the hope that during President Putin's visit to China from March 21 to 22, the heads of state of the two countries will reach new agreement on energy development.

Energy cooperation between Russia and China has a broad prospect and bright future, Lazov said.

Lazov and Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui held a joint press conference on the Year of Russia to be held in China. Russian President Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao will jointly inaugurate the event in Beijing next week.

Lazov said Russia plans to supply 15 million tons of crude oil to China by railways in 2006. In addition, the two countries are discussing exports of natural gas to China.

He said relevant corporations of Russia and China are jointly studying the feasibility and plan of exporting gas to China.

The current task of the two sides is to complete the business discussions, which are key to the signing of a large-scale contract of gas supply, Lazov said.

On the cooperation on nuclear energy, Lazov said construction of the Tianwan nuclear plant in Lianyungang in East China's Jiangsu Province is the largest project in the two countries' bilateral economic cooperation. The project will lay the foundation for future cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy, he said.

Lazov said Russia is willing to play an active role in the development and implementation of China's nuclear power plan.

Nuclear energy cooperation is of mutual benefit to the two countries and has broad prospects, Lazov said.

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