Russia's Colossal New Gas Deal With China Is 'Putin's Revenge'

Vladimir Putin Xi JinpingREUTERS/How Hwee YongRussia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, November 9, 2014.

Russia and China just agreed to a second major gas deal, worth slightly less than the $US400 billion agreement reached earlier this year, according to Bloomberg.

The details of the deal mean Russia will supply China with another 30 billion cubic metres of gas every year for the next three decades through the Altai pipeline, a proposed pipe transporting the gas from western Siberia to China.

Earlier in the fall, Keun-Wook Paik at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said this kind of deal would be “Putin’s revenge,” according to the Financial Times.

Many analysts see the move as evidence that Moscow is pivoting away from a reliance on European customers and toward east Asia, where relatively rapid economic growth should prop up demand.

It’s also a political move, as relations with the rest of Europe have become increasingly cold after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the tit-for-tat sanctions between the European Union, United States, and Russia.

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