Chinese President Hu Jintao has been meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks partly focused on energy deals. China is the world’s number two oil consumer, and Russia the second-largest exporter.
In the past plans for oil and gas pipelines have stalled because of both nations’ desire to keep a state grip on energy deals. Putin said “We regard as really important the continuing exchange in state and economic cooperation between our two countries.”
In exchange for oil and gas deals, Moscow is being offered business opportunities; there was just 25 billion euros of trade between the two last year. That was a big increase, but mostly in favour of China. Its exports to Russia rose 79%.
Moscow is trying to satisfy China and Japan, both of which are energy hungry. The Russians have flip-flopped over which of them will get the first pipeline connection, leaving Chinese buyers hanging on promises of increased supplies shipped by rail.