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Putin urges stepping up Russian gas projects in Far East

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Drujinin / Go to the photo bankRussian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called on Tuesday to speed up gas projects along the country's Pacific coastline.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called on Tuesday to speed up gas projects along the country's Pacific coastline.

Speaking at an emergency government meeting, Putin said radiation leaks from the quake-damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan could be "long-term."

The danger zone around the plant has been extended to 30 km after it was rocked by a third blast in four days Tuesday morning. A fire also broke out at reactor No. 4.

"We should act faster on our plans to develop gas projects in the Far East, including the Sakhalin-3 Project," the premier said.

He also said that Russian emergencies services should keep a close watch on the events in Japan.

"All services should be on alert for any possible scenario," Putin said.

He added there was no immediate danger in the rise in radiation levels in Russian areas close to Japan.

All Russians, who were vacationing using tourist agency services, have left Japan, where the death toll from Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami rose to about 2,400 but fears grow that at least 10,000 may have been killed. It is unclear how many Russians who made their own individual vacation plans remain in Japan.

The plant's reactor No. 2 became the third to explode on Tuesday after similar blasts in reactors No. 1 and No. 3.

NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 15 (RIA Novosti)

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