MOSCOW – Alexander Losyukov, Russia’s new ambassador to Japan, said Friday that Moscow may favor Japan’s proposed route for a Siberian oil pipeline in light of the importance of the Asia-Pacific market.
Losyukov, in an interview with the ITAR-Tass news agency, said Russia will decide on the pipeline route based on its national interest.
Japan and China have advanced proposals for two competing routes for the pipeline.
Losyukov said Russia needs to supply energy to the Far East and Siberia, and this goal is consistent with an option to build a pipeline to the Pacific coast as proposed by Japan.
The competition between Japan and China surfaced in May when Russia’s oil giant Yukos signed a 25-year deal with China National Petroleum Corp. to supply oil through a 2,400-km pipeline from the eastern Siberian city of Angarsk to Daqing, China.