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Baltic Pipeline Plans Delayed

Russia is rolling back plans to significantly boost oil exports via its new Baltic pipeline, Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin said Thursday, suggesting that current transit country Belarus can continue collecting fees.

Russia had initially planned to ship annually about 30 million tons of oil (600,000 barrels per day) through the first phase of the Baltic Pipeline System-2, starting from 2012, to bypass Belarus. "The first stage will carry 10 million tons in 2012, the second stage will be launched in 2013," Dyomin said.

He said that to fill the 1,000-kilometer long link, Transneft would divert 5 million tons of oil from the Polish port of Gdansk and another 5 million tons from Russia's Baltic Sea port of Primorsk. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is close to signing a new gas contract with Belarus.

(Reuters)

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