Russia and China could sign major energy deal – deputy PM

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President Vladimir Putin is on an official visit to the Asian country to discuss strategic cooperation

Moscow and Beijing could soon sign a contract for the construction of the mega pipeline Power of Siberia 2, which is slated to deliver Russian natural gas to China, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak has said.

Power of Siberia 2 is expected to allow for up to 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to be delivered annually from Yamal Region in northern Russia to China via Mongolia.

According to Novak, however, energy negotiations between Moscow and Beijing are not limited to Power of Siberia 2. “There are other new projects,” Novak revealed on Thursday in an interview with the TV channel Russia 1, without disclosing any details.

The statements come as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day official visit, later meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Putin and Xi are set to discuss bilateral ties and strategic cooperation between the two nations. About a dozen bilateral documents are expected to be signed during the visit, along with numerous commercial deals and regional agreements.

Russia currently supplies gas to China via Power of Siberia, a section of the so-called Eastern Route, under a bilateral 30-year agreement. Deliveries started in 2019, and the pipeline is expected to reach its full operational capacity of 38 bcm of natural gas annually by 2025.

The pipeline’s operator, Gazprom, has exceeded its contractual obligations on a regular basis throughout the past year, with daily records reported frequently. The company is projecting that gas supplies to Russia’s leading trading partner will grow further thanks to soaring demand.

Once all pipelines are fully operational, the volume of Russian gas supplies to China could reach nearly 100 bcm annually.

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