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Belarus exploring gas diversity

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MINSK, Belarus, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Belarus is examining liquefied natural gas and a European gas pipeline as ways to reduce dependency on Russian gas, the government said.

An energy development strategy outlined by the government in Belarus calls for strong energy diversification through LNG terminals in Lithuania and Poland.

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Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in July said his country was planning to build an LNG terminal on the Black Sea, possibly with the help of Belarus.

If Belarus is able to realize its LNG ambitions, the country could get more than 350 billion cubic feet of gas per year from non-Russian sources. This, the energy strategy said, would "considerably reduce" the Russian grip on the national energy sector, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti said, quoting the document.

The energy strategy said Belarus could also bring greater diversification to its national energy sector through the Nabucco pipeline, a European project meant to transport gas from the Middle East and Central Asia.

Roughly 80 percent of Russian gas bound for Europe runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine. Ongoing disputes between Kiev and Moscow, however, are influencing a European push for energy diversification.

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