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DUSHANBE, June 10. /TASS/. Russia and China are working actively to prepare a contract on gas supplies via the so-called Western route, Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said on Friday.
"The degree of readiness is to be specified. I know that rather serious work is underway but I cannot tell you whether the contract will be ready or not," he told journalists when asked whether the contract could be signed during Russian president’s visit to China in late June.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said that Russia’s Gazprom and China’s CNPC were negotiating increased gas supplies via the western route of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. He said the Russian energy ministry was sure the relevant contract would be finally signed.
Prior to that, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said it was not ruled out that the western route’s construction period could be extended but the project is general was still topical.
Under the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the natural gas sector signed by Gazprom and CNPC on June 24, 2009, Russia will supplies its gas via two routes - western and eastern.