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Russia to Keep Promises on Energy Program: Ambassador

Russian ambassador to China Igor Rogachev said Wednesday that Russia will keep its promises to China and other east Asian countries on energy programs.

The ambassador told a press conference held at the Russian Embassy in Beijing that the Russian government is making further study on the issue of exporting petroleum and natural gas to China.

But he said the government must consider both Russia's interests and the energy demand of the Far East and the Sibir area.

It is expected that the Russian side will announce its decision on energy cooperation with China during the ninth meeting between the two premiers in the second half of the year, said Rogachev.

Rogachev said Russia's Yukos and the Russian railway company have signed a contract on increasing oil export to China and transport issues. According to the contract, Russia will transport 6.4 million tons of oil to China, and the figure will surge to 8.5 million tons in 2005 and 15 million tons in 2006.

But the volume is only the part transported to China by railways, said Rogachev. He noted that it means Russia has opened the green light to exporting oil to China.

Ten years before, the Russian side proposed to build an oil pipeline linking Russia and China, and in September 2001, the Chinese and Russian government signed a contract to jointly launch research on feasibility of the pipeline linking Russia's Angarsk and China's Daqing.

At the end of 2002, the Russian side made another suggestion to change the original pipeline, and at the same time Japan promised to offer US$7 billion to Russia to build a northern line in place of the line linking China.

The Russian side is currently still doing research on the final location of the pipeline.

(CCTV April 15, 2004)

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