Russia on Monday inaugurated a new oil export terminal at Kozmino port in its far east.

Opening the terminal, Russian PM Vladimir Putin said, It is an important event for Russia and a strategic project, which enables us to enter the growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region.

Russia has sought to diversify its energy exports, which until now have been mostly bound for Europe.

Putin said it cost 60 billion rubles (about $2 billion) to build the Kozmino terminal. Kozmino is the destination point of a new pipeline that will pump crude from huge oilfields in eastern Siberia.

The pipeline's first 2,750-kilometer (1,700-mile) section linking Taishet in eastern Siberia with Skovorodino near the border with China was completed last month to send oil to the energy-hungry Chinese markets.

The second leg stretching from Skovorodino to Kozmino, another 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles) east, is still being built, and until its completion the oil will be carried there by rail.

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