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Russia's Lake Baikal (file photo) (AFP)
March 9, 2006 -- Russia's Supreme Court today rejected an appeal brought by environmental groups over the routing of a key Siberian pipeline.
Environmental groups say the pipeline will endanger the world's largest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal.
The 4,100-kilometer pipeline is to run to Russia's Pacific Coast, enabling Russia to increase oil exports to China, Japan, and South Korea.
The state-controlled Transneft company is building the $11 billion Kremlin-backed project.
Environmentalists had also argued that members of the regulatory agency that approved the routing had been pressured to ensure a favorable vote. Transneft denies any attempt to pressure the panel.