German bankers say deal for Siberian pipeline OK'd

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The biggest East-West trade deal in history, a project to pipe Siberian natural gas to Western Europe, is likely to be concluded soon despite US requests that the deal be dropped. West German commercial banks said they have reached an agreement with the Soviet Union to help finance construction of the pipeline and expected a final accord before year-end, despite US anxiety that West Europe might become dangerously dependent on Soviet energy. The banks will probably lend Mowcow as much as $2 billion for the project, estimated to be worth $10 billion. French and Japanese banks are likely to follow the West German lead in providing finance.

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