Russia and China Join Forces to Launch Gas Pipeline

Work has begun on a gas pipeline between Russia and China which will see both countries benefit from the deal.

China’s CNPC has agreed to buy $400bn (£240bn) of gas from Russia’s Gazprom who will ship around 38billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for the next three decades in a deal which will see Russia’s reliance on Europe buyers lessen as they try to find ways of combating economic sanctions put on them. This will also see China expand its energy imports with reliance on Turkmenistan over the past ten years, what with it being China’s biggest energy supplier, and the country has just started piping in natural gas from Myanmar since last year.

With Russia already starting work on their side of the pipeline, China is expected to start work on their part in the first half of 2015 with the aim of having the first gas being pumped from Siberia to North east China in early 2019.

China is Russia’s single trading partner with bilateral trade between the two amounting to around $90bn (£53bn) in 2013 and the aim is to more than double that in the next ten years to around $200bn.

With further energy deals this is good news for the Russian economy which is likely to see a huge boost from this move as the energy sector in the country expands further and they move into the Asian market, for a more global influence, and away from reliance upon the European market.

China is one of the fastest growing and largest economies in the world and is an emerging economic superpower on the global stage and so by tapping into such a burgeoning market with a massive population Russia is setting itself up well for the future as the Chinese economy seems set to establish itself as the dominant one of the coming years.

Despite uncertainty within the region the Russian economy is still growing at a rate of 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014 after growing at a rate of 0.9% between January and March.

This growth is sorely needed within the country as economic sanctions from both the United States and the European Union become increasingly stricter because of the conflict although this move may encourage them to ease off as neither are particularly keen to cut off trade with Russia as it is likely to damage them economically. However, US Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, has said: “It is essential that Russia work with Ukraine and other international partners to find a lasting settlement to the conflict. If Russia does so, these new sanctions could be suspended”.

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