Laying an oil pipeline in Russia (file photo) (AFP)
6 January 2006 -- Russia's president said today Russia would begin construction of a $15 billion Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline this summer.
During a visit to the semiautonomous Siberian district of Sakha (formerly known as Yakutia), Vladimir Putin predicted the final paperwork should be completed by April.
The pipeline will run some 4,200 kilometers from Taishet, in Siberia's Irkutsk region, to Perevoznaya, in the Pacific and should be capable of transporting up to 80 million tons a year for onward shipment to China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia.
Putin said construction of the first segment of the pipeline should be completed in 2008.