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ST PETERSBURG, Russia May 24 Russia's President
Vladimir Putin said on Saturday a route to supply gas to China
via western Siberia may be implemented faster than the eastern
route, through which Moscow has agreed to ship the fuel to its
Moscow and Beijing clinched a $400 billion gas deal this
week after years of talks, which will help Russia to diversify
gas supplies away from Europe, its main export market.
"The second project, if Chinese partners are positive
towards it, may be implemented even faster than the eastern
one," Putin said on Saturday.
State-run Gazprom has yet to build a pipeline to
carry 38 billion cubic metres of gas annually to China from 2018
through East Siberia. Russia and China have agreed a $25 billion
prepayment under a supply deal, Alexander Medvedev, the head of
Gazprom's exporting arm, said on Friday.
Gazprom had planned to supply a further 30 billion cubic
metres of gas per year to China through the western route. Putin
said on Saturday the possible amount of gas for this route has
yet to be decided.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, editing by Jason Bush and David