China’s President Hu Jintao was assured a warm welcome when he flew to Moscow for a four day visit. He had earlier pledged his support for Russia in criticising US plans for a controversial US missile shield, saying it could undermine global security.
The Chinese leader had just hot footed it from Kazakhstan where he had attended a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation organisation.
The six members of the SCO condemned the US’s unilateral build-up of missile defences, despite Washington’s claims it is aimed at preventing an attack by Iran.
Hu is later due at Gazprom’s HQ to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. It is hoped they can smooth over disagreements regarding failed talks over gas prices.
After five years of negotiations China is looking for a discount from Gazprom, while Russia’s gas export monopoly is looking for a tariff that will make deliveries to China as profitable as those to their European clients.