Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on the 21st that the two countries have reached a significant agreement on plans to build the “Power of Siberia-2” pipeline that will transport Russian gas to China.
“We have just discussed a good project,” Putin told media after an official meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin.
The new pipeline will then see a “constant supply of 50 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia (to China),” Putin added.
The ‘Power of Siberia-2’ pipeline construction plan is to build one more large-scale pipeline like ‘Power of Siberia’ which was opened in December 2019.
See also: Russia-China ‘Power of Siberia’ gas pipeline opens
He set a goal of supplying 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Russia to China via Mongolia.
Russia has proposed a related business plan to China several years ago.
Russia is in a situation where it is trying to find a way out by exporting to China, especially after energy trade was blocked after the invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
■ ‘Strategic Supplier’ of Energy
President Putin emphasized on the same day (21st) that the agreement confirms that Russia is a ‘strategic supplier’ of oil, gas and coal to China.
“I am confident that our (China-Russia) multilateral cooperation will continue to develop for the benefit of the people of our country,” he said.
In response, President Xi responded, saying, “Cooperation (of the two countries) is progressing,” and that the two countries should join forces more closely to promote more substantial cooperation.
■ Issue a joint statement following a small number and expansion talks
The first official China-Russia summit was held that day with a small number of people attending only the two leaders and some of the delegations from the two countries.
This was followed by more talks, together with the rest of the delegation.
The Russian delegation was reported to be focused on the security line, including Vice Chairman of the National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
At this point we can see that the war in Ukraine is the main agenda.
In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister, including Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, also participated in the delegation, and Yelvira Nabiulina, the Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, was named and attracted attention.
See also: Russia “Does not supply oil to countries participating in the oil price cap, oil prices will rise”… Signing agreement to resume grain exports to Ukraine
After the talks, the two leaders will hold a joint declaration ceremony together with a signing ceremony on the agreements. Then, a state dinner will be held to welcome President Xi.
The major media reported that the Ukraine crisis was expected to be discussed in detail later this afternoon.
In the informal one-on-one summit held the day before (20th), it was reported that President Putin explained in detail Russia’s position on the Ukraine situation to President Xi.
In each of the unofficial talks released to the media, Xi reaffirmed his support for peace talks to end the war in Ukraine and said he would “continue to play a constructive role in promoting a political solution to Ukraine issue.”
In response, Putin said he respected China’s offer.
Xi also invited Putin to visit China later this year, Xinhua reported.
■ China, Ukraine Crisis Arbiter
China recently took a mediating role in resolving the Ukraine crisis.
Xi is said to be speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after meeting Putin.
In the midst of this, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Irina Bereshuk, said in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on the 21st that she “does not know” whether there will be a phone call between the two leaders, and that she “waiting for confirmation.”
“Ukraine is closely monitoring the Chinese President’s visit to Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement on the 20th.
“I hope China will use its influence to end Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” he added.
“We (Ukraine) are ready to engage in a closer dialogue with China for the restoration of peace in Ukraine, in accordance with the principles set forth in the United Nations Charter and the recent resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on this issue, ” he said.
In this regard, on the 17th before President Xi’s trip to Russia, Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Qin Gang and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba had a phone call.
This is VOA News Jongsu Oh.