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    THE LOADING OF THE ANGARSK-NAKHODKA OIL PIPELINE IS OF A STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE, PRESIDENT PUTIN SAYS

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    KHABAROVSK, February 26, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the president of Yakutia (a republic in the Russian Far Eastern Federal District), Vyacheslav Shtyrov, to present all the documents concerning the loading of the Angarsk-Nakhodka oil pipeline.

    The loading of the oil pipeline "is a question of a strategic importance, not regional," the Russian President pointed out in commenting on Shtyrov's speech at the conference on the development of the transport infrastructure in the Russian Far East and in the Trans-Baikal areas.

    Putin said that the proposals of the Yakut leadership would be considered alongside the package of documents drafted by the Transneft and Gazprom companies and by Russian government departments.

    The President said that he signed a commission to the government yesterday to draft documents concerning the development of a pipeline transport system in the east of the country and to generalise all these documents.

    "Your proposals will be to the point, because this pipeline must be loaded," Putin said, addressing the president of Yakutia.

    Vyacheslav Shtyrov said that Yakutia was ready to deliver 30 million tons of oil already now, 50 million tons - in a year, and 80 million tons - in two years in order to load the Angarsk-Nakhodka oil pipeline.

    "However, the accomplishment of the task calls for state investments," underscored Vyacheslav Shtyrov.

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