Xi Jinping decides not to buy more gas from Russia – Bloomberg
Despite the agreement on economic cooperation between Russia and China, Xi Jinping has decided not to increase gas purchases from Russia
Bloomberg reports that the Chinese leader used the two-day talks in Moscow to oppose the United States, but the lack of progress in major energy deals shows that China doubts the need for close cooperation with Russia,
“Xi wants to avoid facing more stringent economic sanctions that could damage China’s economy, while also keeping Russia on side as a partner that could push back against the US and its allies — and provide cover for countries that don’t want to pick sides,” the publication said.
Bloomberg notes that there is a noticeable asymmetry in the statements on energy – Putin has promised to supply China with at least 98 billion cubic meters of gas by 2030. This is more than six times more than was sold to China last year, but significantly less than Russia supplied to Europe at its peak.
“But Xi didn’t give Putin an explicit agreement or even a nod to minimal progress on the bellwether Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, a crucial link as Moscow attempts to sell more gas to the east while its export infrastructure largely faces west.
Putin said after the talks that the new pipeline, which would run to China through Mongolia, was discussed and “almost all” parameters of a deal agreed. But the joint statements were far less explicit,” the article pointed out.
Bloomberg underscores that although the pipeline could provide China with a cheaper alternative to liquefied natural gas, the Xi government remains focused on diversifying supplies, all to avoid repeating the European mistake of over-reliance on Russia.
On Tuesday, March 21, the Kremlin hosted an official meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.