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Gazprom scraps pipeline

Russian gas giant Gazprom has scrapped a project to build a new natural gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine through Poland and Slovakia. Reuters quoted a senior Gazprom manager as saying the firm wanted to come to terms with Ukraine, which Russia has accused of stealing gas from Gazprom's Bratstvo pipeline.

The 'Jamal' pipeline project, which was first proposed in March 2000, had run up against opposition from Poland, which was reluctant to cause offence to Kiev.

Slovakia and its SPP gas utility had been in favour of the new pipeline from the beginning, expecting additional transit revenues to come to $60 million annually. SPP now handles about 80 per cent of Gazprom's gas exports to western Europe.

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