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Updated: March 15, 2011 21:01 IST

Russia to boost energy supplies to Japan

Vladimir Radyuhin
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
AP Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia will step up energy shipments to Japan to help it make up for the shortfall of electricity supplies, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his part said Russia would not change its plans to build dozens of nuclear power stations in coming decades, but “will draw conclusions from what has happened in Japan”.

Mr. Medvedev called Mr. Kan on Monday to offer Russian help and assistance.

Russia will ship to Japan additionally 200,000 tons of liquefied natural gas from its Sakhalin-2 fields in April and May, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin reported to Mr. Medvedev on Monday. The LNG shipments will be diverted from other Russian customers. Russia will also increase coal supplies to Japan by 3 to 4 million tons and may redirect some 6,000 megawatts of electricity to Japan, Mr. Sechin said.

“It is possible to further step up hydrocarbon deliveries to Japan,” he said in televised remarks.

Experts said Russia may increase piped gas supplies to Europe so that some Europe-bound LNG shipments from Malaysia and Indonesia can be redirected to Japan.

Russia is sending 180 rescue workers to Japan to help look for survivors in quake- and tsunami-hit areas.

Russia’s nationalist political leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky invited displaced Japanese families to come and settle in Russia.

“The Japanese islands are not suitable for permanent residence, they are extremely vulnerable to national disasters,” he said in a statement posted on his party’s website.

“Russia will benefit if these hard-working people join us, especially because historically some Russian ethnic groups have common roots with the Japanese.”

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