CHEMAL, Russia, June 1 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom views its strategic partnership with a regional republic as vital to economy prosperity, the company's chairman said.
The village of Chemal in the south-central Russian republic of Altai hosted Gazprom delegates to discuss a natural gas pipeline that could stretch from Western Siberia to China.
Alexei Miller, the chief executive officer at Gazprom, said he viewed the republic as a strategic partner in efforts to boost the regional economy linked to the energy sector.
"Starting from 2007, we have taken a sustained and proactive approach to joint gasification of the region," he said in a statement.
Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corp. in 2010 signed agreements outlining the basic terms of natural gas supplies from Russia. The Russian gas company said it was making preparations for the Altai pipeline but couldn't start construction until a gas purchase and sale agreement was reached with the Chinese.
Gazprom added it was allocating $17 million in regional gas transit projects in the republic.