MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian and Chinese energy giants Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) may ink a long-awaited deal on gas supplies during a visit of President Vladimir Putin to Shanghai next Tuesday if they agree on pricing, the SINA news portal reported Thursday citing a Chinese diplomat.
“The two countries’ companies [Gazprom and CNPC] are now in Moscow exchanging views on the price of gas supplies to China. If they manage to agree, the deal will be signed during the visit of President Putin to China in the presence of both companies’ heads,” China’s Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said.
The Chinese diplomat said the sides have come to an agreement on practically all the issues, except for gas pricing.
Putin will arrive in Shanghai next week to cement economic ties with China, including on energy. During the visit, Russia and China could agree on long-term gas supplies and increasing oil supplies.
In March 2013, Gazprom and CNPC signed a memorandum of understanding on Russian gas supplies to China along the so-called eastern route via the Power of Siberia pipeline.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the company could receive advance payment from China for the gas, which could start flowing in 2018. The project has been estimated to pump up to 38 billion cubic meters annually, which could later increase to 60 billion cubic meters.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.