China signed a landmark $400 billion deal Wednesday to buy natural gas from Russia, binding Moscow more closely to Beijing at a time when President Vladimir Putin’s relations with the West have deteriorated to the lowest point ever. The 30-year gas deal, worked out during a two-day visit by Putin to China, gives Moscow an economic boost at a time when Washington and the European Union have imposed sanctions against Russia and Europe has threatened to cut its gas imports to punish the Kremlin over the crisis in Ukraine.
The much-anticipated details of the gas price, which was the key point of the decade-long negotiations between Beijing and Moscow, were not disclosed. The Russian leader indicated that the price is pegged to the cost of oil and petroleum products, while Gazprom’s head Alexei Miller said it was a “commercial secret.
Gazprom says first supplies of Russian natural gas may reach Chinese consumers in four to six years. However, experts say, that a lot of work is to be done to turn paper numbers into real pipelines. CCTV’s Daria Bondarchuk reports.
CCTV’s Phillip Yin interviews Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on the significance of the China-Russia energy deal.