Putin, Xi launch Rus­sian gas pipe­line to China

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Rus­sia and China on Mon­day launched a gi­ant gas pipe­line link­ing the coun­tries for the first time, one of three ma­jor projects aimed at ce­ment­ing Moscow’s role as the world’s top gas ex­porter. Pre­sid­ing by video link-up over an elab­o­rate tele­vised cer­e­mony, Rus­sian leader Vladimir Putin and Chi­nese coun­ter­part Xi Jin­ping hailed the “Power of Siberia” pipe­line as a sym­bol of co­op­er­a­tion.

MOSCOW: Rus­sia and China on Mon­day launched a gi­ant gas pipe­line link­ing the coun­tries for the first time, one of three ma­jor projects aimed at ce­ment­ing Moscow’s role as the world’s top gas ex­porter.

Pre­sid­ing by video link-up over an elab­o­rate tele­vised cer­e­mony, Rus­sian leader Vladimir Putin and Chi­nese coun­ter­part Xi Jin­ping hailed the “Power of Siberia” pipe­line as a sym­bol of co­op­er­a­tion.

“Today (Mon­day) is re­mark­able, a truly his­toric event not only for the global en­ergy mar­ket, but first of all for us and for you, for Rus­sia and China,” Putin said. Xi said the pro­ject served as a model of co­op­er­a­tion.

“China-Rus­sia re­la­tions are en­ter­ing a new era,” Xi said. “Ev­ery­one worked hard.” The cer­e­mony fea­tured hard-hat­ted gas work­ers and videos show­ing the pipe­line’s dif­fi­cult path from re­mote ar­eas of east­ern Siberia to Blagoveshc­hensk on the Chi­nese bor­der.

Work­ers burst into ap­plause and cel­e­bra­tory mu­sic played as the CEO of Rus­sian gas gi­ant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, speak­ing from the Amur re­gion, or­dered a valve opened for the gas to flow across the bor­der. The 3,000-kilo­me­tre pipe­line — which Putin has called “the world’s big­gest con­struc­tion pro­ject” — will sup­ply China with 38 bil­lion cu­bic me­tres of gas an­nu­ally when fully op­er­a­tional in 2025. Rus­sia and China signed the 30-year, $400 bil­lion con­struc­tion deal in 2014 — Gazprom’s big­gest ever con­tract. The pipe­line is part of Rus­sia ef­forts to de­velop ties with Asia — in par­tic­u­lar top en­ergy im­porter China — amid long­stand­ing ten­sions with the West.

The 3,000-kilo­me­tre pipe­line which Putin has called “the world’s big­gest con­struc­tion pro­ject” will sup­ply China with 38 bil­lion cu­bic me­tres of gas an­nu­ally in 2025

China’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping with Rus­sia’s Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Sec­re­tary Niko­lai Pa­tru­shev, in Bei­jing, on Mon­day

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