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A deal to build a leg of a major Russian
A deal to build a leg of a major Russian oil pipeline to China will not be signed during Prime Minister Wen Jibao's visit to Moscow on Tuesday, a Russian government source said on Monday.

In Moscow, the final destination in Jibao's tour of former Soviet states which comprised Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Belarus, the Chinese premier with meet with his Russian counterpart, Viktor Zubkov.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said on a visit to China in September that a deal on a leg of the 4,100-km (2,550-mile) pipeline, which will transport crude from Siberia to Asian markets, could be signed at the two premiers' meeting in Moscow.

"The agreement will not be ready by this meeting," an official said.

The official said talks on the pipeline are continuing, and the energy-hungry China is receiving Russian oil by rail.

"Supplies have been carried out in full. China is not worried about their continuity now," he said adding Russia wants a comprehensive treaty on long-term supplies with purchase guarantees and a pricing policy set out in it.

"We need a comprehensive deal, not the one dealing with the construction of the pipeline only," he said.

Oil supplies by rail to the Asian nation will be increased to 15 million metric tons a year. Under the current agreement, Russia is to supply China with a total of 48.4 million metric tons of oil between February 2005 and December 2010.

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