00:19 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Kremlin aide denies pipeline deal with Japan at G8 summit

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    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - A Kremlin aide denied rumors Tuesday that Russia was set to sign an agreement on a Siberian pipeline with Japan at a summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in mid-July.

    Commenting on remarks by a source in the Japanese government, Sergei Prikhodko said, "We are not planning to sign any bilateral documents during meetings with Japanese counterparts, and they have not proposed we should."

    The construction of the 2,550-mile Siberia-Pacific pipeline to pump Siberian crude to energy-hungry Asian markets has been under way since April, but Russia is still in the process of routing its branches. Tokyo and Beijing are vying to become the main customer of the 1.6-million-barrel-a-day pipeline.

    The leaders of Russia, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States will gather in St. Petersburg July 15, for a three-day summit expected to focus on energy issues as well as security, education and pandemics.