Energy On the Agenda As Putin Visits China

Energy will be on the agenda as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin begins a two-day visit to China today. 

It’s Putin’s first visit abroad since announcing he will seek the Russian presidency again.  

In Beijing, Putin will lead a Russia delegation in talks with Chinese officials on a 30-year deal to supply China with natural gas.  

However, no deal is expected to be signed as the two sides have failed so far to agree on a price for the gas, reflecting, what analysts say, is lingering suspicions on both sides dating back to the Cold War.  

Also on the agenda is trade, with Moscow looking to diversify trade with China, which is expected to almost double to $100 billion by 2020.

A Kremlin officials say the two sides will sign some 20 business agreements worth $7 billion during Putin’s China visit.  

On the political front, Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao are expected to discuss the situation in Syria.

Last week, both China and Russia vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution threatening sanctions against Damascus if it failed to halt its crackdown on protesters.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman refused to comment on the detention of a Chinese national by Russia on suspected military espionage.

Russia’s Federal Security Service announced last week that a Chinese translator had been detained last October after allegedly trying to buy sensitive material on a Russian anti-missile system. 

Prosecutors filed charges of espionage with the Moscow City Court last week.


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