Russia and China have reinforced their increasingly deeper ties with a second huge energy deal.
The latest move adds to the massive gas contract signed earlier in the year, worth the equivalent of $400 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
In an attempt to circumnavigate the dollar both countries look set to settle accounts using national currencies.
The Russian president appears excited by the prospect: “I think that national currency settlement in such partner economies, like Russia and China, is a promising direction of cooperation. Settlement in national currencies helps boost trade between the two countries and also has an impact on global finance and the energy market,” he said.
The forging of closer Sino-Russian ties have already reaped rewards for both counties, in 2010 China overtook Germany as Russia’s largest trading partner.
However, the same is not true for China.
Beijing’s biggest trading partner is the United States and US President Barack Obama is also in town in an attempt to make sure it stays that way: “Over the next five years, nearly half of all economic growth outside the United States is projected to come from right here in Asia. That makes this region an incredible opportunity for creating jobs and economic growth in the United States,” Obama said.
Economic observers say the current frosty relations between Moscow, the US and Europe over Ukraine is forcing Russia to look to China as investment from the West shrinks.