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    RUSSIA INCLINED TO CHOOSE JAPANESE VARIANT OF LAYING PIPELINE FROM SIBERIA TO EASTERN COAST

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    MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is inclined to choose the Japanese variant of laying an oil pipeline on the Eastern coast.

    "The northern route is more strategically important for us, and we want it to be realized; this will enliven the region's economy," Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov told RIA Novosti Friday. "We are close to taking a decision on the oil pipeline in the Eastern coast." The minister said the Russian natural resources ministry issued a negative conclusion in regard to the Chinese variant of laying the oil pipeline in the Eastern coast, supported by Yukos only.

    The decision of the natural resources ministry imposes serious restrictions on this project, added the minister. "This variant, the way it was offered to us, is impossible," Yusufov said.

    The minister stressed that the suggested choice of the Japanese variant of laying the pipeline "will not hurt the colleagues," and that "China can buy oil in Nakhodka."

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