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Japan's Sakhalin-2 LNG buyers told to pay bank inside Russia

Russian-owned operator apparently aims to shield funds from Western sanctions

Japan imports 10% of its LNG yearly from the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia's Far East. An LNG port at Sakhalin-2 is shown here.

TOKYO -- Japanese importers of liquefied natural gas from Russia's Sakhalin-2 energy project have been told to change how they make payments, instructed to pay a Russian branch of a European bank, sources say, a move likely intended to shield Moscow's LNG revenue from sanctions.

Sakhalin Energy Investment, the operator of the Sakhalin-2 LNG and oil project in Russia's Far East, began asking Japanese gas buyers this month to make the change, the sources said.

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