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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Germany in huge Russian gas deal
Gazprom's Moscow HQ
Gazprom supplies one-quarter of Europe's gas needs
German and Russian companies have signed natural gas and rail equipment deals worth billions of dollars.

Russia's gas giant Gazprom and Germany's Wintershall - part of BASF - will develop a west Siberian gas field and invest in a Baltic Sea pipeline.

Construction of the $2bn pipeline (1.05bn; 1.54bn euros) is due to start later this year.

Germany's Siemens signed a deal with Russia's railways to build high-speed trains for Russian intercity services.

The Yuzhnorusskoye gas project will for the first time allow a foreign company to be a partner in developing a Russian gas field, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

He announced the deal at Germany's Hanover trade fair on Monday.

The gas field has an estimated volume of about 500bn cu metres.

The 3,000km (1860-mile) gas pipeline is due for completion in 2010. It will supply gas mainly to northern Europe, Gazprom said.

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