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Putin is expected to take part in a ceremony later on Monday to connect the first stage of Russia’s new pipeline Sila Sibiri (Power of Siberia) intended for natural gas supplies to the Russian Far East and China.
The gas pipeline will make it possible “not only to boost export deliveries and expand the geography of our hydrocarbon exports but also to make another serious step towards developing our country’s gas infrastructure, which is especially important for the eastern part,” Putin said at a meeting with students of North-Eastern Federal University.
The next step will be “more interesting from the economic standpoint,” the Russian president said.
“After we create a network of gas pipelines here, in the Far East and Siberia, we’ll have a possibility to unite the European part of the gas pipeline system with its eastern part and, from the standpoint of export possibilities and expanding the geography of the country’s gas infrastructure development, this will give us big advantages in rechanneling gas flows, depending on the world market situation - either to send more gas to the west and achieve greater effect or to the east,” the Russian president said.These projects are of great interest for the Yakutsk-based North-Eastern Federal University as their implementation will require at least 3,000 highly-qualified specialists, Putin said, adding that Gazprom had already signed a corresponding agreement with the university.
The Power of Siberia gas pipeline’s first stage is to be launched at the end of 2017. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 61 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Gazprom earlier signed a $400 billion 30-year contract to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China.