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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deadline Set for Pipeline Decision

Russia will decide in the next six weeks on the route for a future pipeline to supply the Far East with Siberian crude , a top Kremlin adviser said Tuesday.

"The government has been tasked with taking a decision on construction of the eastern pipeline by Dec. 15," said Arkady Dvorkovich, head of the Expert Department in the Kremlin.

The massive project, lobbied by pipeline monopoly Transneft, will give producers direct export access to the Pacific and pave the way for the tapping of huge reserves in eastern Siberia.

Initial plans for a Pacific pipeline consisted of a huge 4,000-kilometer link from Taishet, near eastern Siberia's Lake Baikal, to the Pacific port of Nakhodka. China has pushed hard for a branch of the pipeline to run into its territory, but Russia has suggested that the Chinese could take oil from the main route and ship it on by rail.