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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Russia's Energy Play

Russian energy interests continue to manouevre for position:

Russia on Tuesday promised to build two natural gas pipelines to China and to become one of the country’s biggest gas suppliers within the next decade.

The agreement, signed during a state visit to Beijing by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, raised fears of shortages of Russian gas in Europe, especially since some of the Russian gas headed to China would be tapped in western Siberia at fields that supply Europe.

Russia holds the world’s largest reserves of natural gas. It appears to be playing Europe, its largest current consumer, and China, its largest potential customer, off each other, analysts said.