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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Gazprom marketing department is seen in front of the office located on the Champs Elysees in ParisFILE PHOTO: The logo of Gazprom marketing department is seen in front of the office located on the Champs Elysees in Paris ,January 5, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Olesya Astakhova

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of a project to build a Russian liquefied natural gas plant partly because Gazprom suddenly added another partner with links to an ally of President Vladimir Putin, according to five sources.

After three years work on the Baltic Coast project, Shell discovered that Gazprom was bringing in a company linked to Arkady Rotenberg, who is on a U.S. sanctions blacklist.

The sudden change

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