Putin: Russia-China pipeline to be completed soon
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  • Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told lawmakers on April 6 that a long-awaited oil pipeline from Russia is expected to reach China within weeks and that state oil-pipe builder Transneft will soon finish laying the pipes. Reports noted that the 67-km pipeline link - the first between the two countries, will deliver 300 million tons of oil to China from 2010 to 2030, equivalent to 7 percent of China's oil consumption in 2008.

    The two countries began discussions on the construction of the pipeline in 2001, but an agreement was not reached until October 2008, when China promised a $25-billion loan to the Russian oil sector. The Sino-Russian pipeline is part of the 4,700-km East Siberia-Pacific Ocean line, designed to export Russian crude oil to the Asia-Pacific markets.

    Professor Xia Yishan, an energy expert at the China Institute of International Studies, stated that the pipeline will make Russian oil a "more straightforward, consistent and long lasting" alternative to Middle East and African sources, which currently make up 80 percent of China's oil imports1.