Putin, Xi launch 'historic' Russia-China gas pipeline

Russia switches on gas mega-pipeline to China as Putin touts closer ties

"This step takes Russo-Chinese strategic cooperation in energy to a qualitative new level and brings us closer to (fulfilling) the task, set together with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, of taking bilateral trade to US$200 billion by 2024".

The Power of Siberia pipeline provides the world's second largest gas exporter with a potentially huge market outside of Europe, which has always been Russia's major market for gas.

Work has also been completed on the first road bridge between Russian Federation and China, further linking the two neighbours.

"This year the United States and some other Western countries have increased their interference in the internal affairs of China and Russian Federation, threatened the sovereign security of the two countries, and impeded their economic and social development", he said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

As its relationships with Europe and the United States have grown more volatile, Russian Federation is looking to bring its vast natural gas resources to the east.

Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the B.C. LNG Alliance is also confident that there will be an opportunity for Canada to enter the market, but it can't put off its projects anymore.

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The pipeline is the outcome of a 30-year agreement (of US$ 400 billion) signed in May 2014 between the Russian government-owned Gazprom with the Chinese government-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to supply Russian gas to China via the eastern route.

Xi told Putin via a video link on Monday that the newly launched gas pipeline is "a landmark project of bilateral energy cooperation" and an "example of deep integration and mutually beneficial cooperation".

The Power of Siberia pipeline is a "project of symbolic importance for China-Russia cooperation", said Xi, who expressed hope that the pipeline will become a driving force for economic and social development in the regions it traverses. The 3,000-kilometer (1,864-mile) route stretching from the Chayanda and Kovykta gas fields within the Irkutsk and Yakutia gas production centers to the city of Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border will pump 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually, or 1.3 trillion cubic feet, of natural gas for 30 years. He warned that such an approach would only harm those nations. Moscow and Kyiv have been struggling to reach a deal on gas transit amid friction over Russia's annexation of Crimea and its backing of pro-Russian separatists in the war in eastern Ukraine.

Construction began in June 2015, and the pipeline is expected to be completed in 2020.

A second gas pipeline being built from Russian Federation to Turkey, TurkStream, also would bypass Ukraine, supplying Turkey and southern Europe.

The project also threatens to undercut China's traditional suppliers such as Australia, which has had an increasingly fraught relationship with Beijing in recent years.

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