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  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:31am
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DIPLOMACY

Russia says gas deal to be signed in 'a few hours' as Xi, Putin attend security summit

US$400 billion contract would see Russia supplying China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas over the next 30 years

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 11:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2014, 6:00pm

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said today he hoped a long-awaited gas supply deal with China would be prepared in the "next few hours", ready for signing.

Dvorkovich told an international gas congress in Turkmenistan that he hoped President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Shanghai would end with the signing of the US$400 billion gas contract, which would see Russia supplying China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas over the next 30 years.

"When I left Shanghai yesterday, practically everything was agreed. I hope that my colleagues will complete the work in next few hours and the contract will be ready for signing," he said. 

Dvorkovich was speaking as President Xi Jinping was set to present his vision of foreign policy while hosting a regional forum on security, which Putin was attending.

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a relatively obscure forum that exists alongside other stronger regional groupings. This comes a year into his term, which has seen Beijing look to assert its interests in continental Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

Through the forum, Beijing is keen to raise the event’s profile and show willingness to work with neighbours, despite recent disputes over maritime territory.

Apart from Putin, the presidents attending include Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai.

“Everyone is a bit surprised it’s being made such a big deal. It seems principally driven by the Chinese, who are very keen for it to be a big event,” said Raffaello Pantucci, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

“It’s more about China trying to build their regional relationships.”

China has alienated some of its Asian neighbours, even while seeking to counter the US “pivot” to the region. Relations between China and Vietnam have worsened after Beijing’s move earlier this month to send a deep-water oil drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea, sparking violent Vietnamese protests in which four Chinese were killed.

Meanwhile, the visiting Russian president is facing a barrage of criticisms from the United States and the European Union for his actions in the Ukraine, and has been under heavy pressure under Western sanctions.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in China to attend the CICA meeting, said countries should seek to avoid conflict.

“There [are] many issues: historical legacy issues, territorial issues, maritime disputes,” he said.

“The main agenda of this CICA summit is to promote some preventive actions, avoiding unnecessary conflict."

Xi and Putin have presented a united front  in Shanghai as they face mounting pressure over their handling of conflicts.

The two leaders vowed in a joint declaration to oppose interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and came out against unilateral sanctions - a remark widely seen as targeting the United States.

They also pledged to counter attempts to "falsify the history" of the second world war.

And in a further show of unity, they launched joint naval exercises around the sensitive East China Sea, where China and Japan are involved in a dispute over territorial sovereignty.

Xi launched  the drills at a ceremony in a room lined with officers of both navies in white dress uniform, as Putin looking on. A combined 14 surface ships from both countries are taking part  in the week-long drills,  which are aimed at a “maritime  threat” and include live-fire exercises.

The exercises show “the unshakable determination and will of China and  Russia to together face new threats and challenges to protect regional security  and stability”, Xi said.

Putin said he hoped “the two militaries can strengthen cooperation under  the new situation”. 

It is the third time in as many years that the two countries have held  naval exercises near China’s coast, according to state media.

“The Chinese are much more agitated about what happens on the sea and one  sees support there from Russia,”  Pantucci said.  “The Russians want support on the international stage to grandstand."

Li Lifan, an expert in Russian affairs at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said: "The suspicions towards the US have pushed China and Russia to move closer, forming a 'sub-alliance' relationship that see both sharing a common stance."

Additional reporting by Reuters and AFP

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22

This article is now closed to comments

I Gandhi
Again Putin the great statesman. Snake Obama the immoral double standard pygmy.
5365ed60-39c4-4bfa-a8b8-35040a320969
They would make a great team. Exchange ideas how to suppress people who speaks ill of their country/leaders, lock them up and throw away the key. Chinese leaders will brag about their innovative science of how to be a control freak and Putin, with a bottle of vodka in one hand, would tell of his nostalgia of the great Soviet Union and his dreams of reviving a once great country again. (Have you read Times recently?)
-----
Since they have not-so-subtely declared war against most nations of the world, they will need each other's consolation as well as cooperation militarily to pull this one off in shaping a new world order. All the facades in economic treaties are all theatrics and propagandas to show the world that you better think twice before challenging this dynamic dual, one having the economic might and one having the military strength.
----
Their trump cards against the west: Both could unleash their pit bulls without having to get their hands dirty. If the situation gets dire, China could always press the red button to open the gate of hell (North Korea) and off they go mauling down all the fleets stationed in S Korea and Japan. The Russian could always help speed up Iran's nuclear capability, since the rogue country once exerted that "Jerusalem will cease to exist on the face of the earth". Destroying the Holy City of Jerusalem would cripple their faith and demoralize them since many NATO countries are believers of God.
I'd say well played& let the game begin
Mikado
Bravo Russia and China. Give the mentally retarded, immoral, spy on everybody, kill all Muslims Hegemon the middle finger!!!!!!!!!
ton1998
Who want to be a friend with Putin?
537c18b0-62dc-4d8c-bdb1-52ae0a3209cb

I­m mak­ing ­over $­1­3k a month working ­part tim­e. I kept hea­ring other p­eople tell me­ how much m­oney they can ma­ke­ online­ so I d­ecide­d to look int­o­ it. Wel­, it was all tru­e and ha­s totally ch­anged­ my life. ­This is­ wha­t I do,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, w­w­­w­.­d­o­e­s­j­o­b­s­.c­o­m
mh0908
BRICS vs. G7? The New Great Game.
GinsbergLLC
China and Russia show solidarity. WHAT A JOKE!!! China is a dynamic country with a diverse economy which is going up, while Russia is an economy based solely on fossil fuels and which is deteriorating at the seams.!!!
Even the Rule of Law, and freedom, which are lacking in both countries, are increasing in China and decreasing in Russia.
The history of the countries is one of centuries of hatred and competition with frequent border clashes. The only thing the two countries really have in common is a misguided fear of the USA.
David M. Ginsberg
DGins@aol.com
****usa-china-international.blogspot.com/
Mikado
United States manifest destiny, manifest evil actually. Never had a peaceful agenda except divide and rule, loot and lie. Lawless and hostile. Double standards. Merchant of death. Thank God for the Edward Snowdens! Still a few good white man around! However still too many war criminals like George Bush, Cheney. Now resorting to extortion of European banks for billions in blood money. Who's going to believe Snake Obama and F the EU Victoria Nuland?
lamlm38
Russia and PRC are perfect match actually.. PRC needs Russian fossil fuels and military technology.. Russia needs PRC cheap consumer products!!!
Formerly ******
Dear lamlm38:
Dude, you're delusional. Russia doesn't have enough wealth to maintain a Soviet-era military and buy consumer products. Pres. Putin doesn't give a care whether or not the people of Russia can buy some simple comforts. The Russians will want from China either gold or US dollars.
China's geography is mostly poisoned, the Three Gorges dam an eco-environmental disaster waiting to happen. Russia has a fading population that's drowning in vodka. What perfect match: the country with a poisoned environment allies with a country with a population that's polluted its bodies with vodka.
Good luck with this one, you simpleton dudes and dudettes.
親愛的 lamlm38:
哥們你有妄想症。俄羅斯不會有足夠的財富以維持一個蘇聯時代軍事,更遑論買消費類產品。醃制 / 普京並不提供護理,無論俄國人可以買到一些簡單的舒適設施。俄國人會想要從中國要麼黃金或美元。
中國的地理大多是有毒,三峽大壩等待發生的生態環境災難。俄羅斯的人口衰落,淹沒在伏特加。什麼完美匹配: 國家受毒害的環境與盟友與已污染及其機構與伏特加的人口的國家。
這一個,你蠢傢伙和 dudettes 的好運氣。

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