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MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not start natural gas deliveries to China in 2011 as planned, because the parties have yet to agree on the price, a senior Gazprom executive said on Wednesday.
Moscow and Beijing reached an agreement in March 2006 on starting Russian natural gas supplies from West and Northeast Siberia to China in 2011 under the Altai project.
"Talks are ongoing. No price agreement has been reached yet, there can be no talk of 2011," Alexander Avanenkov said.
"As soon as there is a price, we will start the construction, but this is a complicated issue," he added.
Another top Gazprom official, deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev, signaled last November that a price agreement was needed between Russia and China to implement the Altai project.
Construction of the $11 billion pipeline was scheduled to begin in 2008. The pipeline is intended to supply 30-40 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China annually.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.