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The US embargo on equipment for the Soviet gas pipeline to Europe may set Russian planners to chewing their pencil stubs.

The official news media in Moscow have suggested using new domestic turbines in the pipeline's compressor stations in place of embargoed Western models. But Western business sources say the home-grown version may prove less efficient and reliable than a US-designed machine. For instance, the Soviet turbine's design is said by one source to make it incompatible with the originally planned compressor stations.

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But sources say the export link to Western Europe can be completed without the embargoed equipment.

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