This July Moscow and Beijing will conclude the work on the substantiation of investment in the Russia-China oil pipeline project and will decide on the form of its realisation in August. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko told this RIA Novosti correspondent following the negotiations in Beijing where he had discussed several projects in the energy sphere. On Monday, Khristenko concluded his working visit to China. Deputy Premier said construction of the oil pipeline was a "key project by the degree of its advance in our cooperation with China". Corresponding negotiations were held with the executives of the Chinese National Oil and Gas Corporation. The oil pipeline will be put into operation in 2005. Two Russian companies - YUKOS and Transneft participate in its construction. According to Khristenko, 20 million tonnes a year will be supplied at the first stage and 30 million tonnes later. Khristenko said the project's implementation required an intergovernmental agreement, and Russia was ready to prepare it as soon as possible. The corresponding agreement was achieved with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi who is in charge of preparing regular meetings of the two countries' premiers. According to RIA Novosti, the length of the pipeline to link the cities of Angarsk and Daqing will be 2,437 km, including 1,642 km in the Russian territory. The overall volume of Russian investment in its construction is supposed to make up $1,222 million till 2010. According to Khristenko, Russia and China are successfully co-operating in the nuclear energy sphere. The deputy premier said that "the works on the Tian Wan nuclear power plant are currently being carried out according to the schedule." If China decides to develop nuclear energetics and construct the third and the fourth energy blocs, "we are ready for active participation," Khristenko added.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.