Russian gas exports to China reach ‘record’ level
Russian energy giant Gazprom has revealed it has pumped a record daily volume of gas to China, with the world’s largest country and its most populous nation seeking to strengthen ties amid strained relations with the West.
On Monday, the firm revealed that “a historical record was set for daily gas supplies from Russia” to the Asian nation on December 23. However, it did not provide a figure for the total amount shipped.
Speaking last week, Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller said that supplies exported to China have exceeded its daily contractual obligations by more than one-third. “The very fact that demand is increasing is undoubtedly a good thing for us. But most importantly, we are already delivering above-contract, above-design volumes at this moment in time,” he said.
The announcement comes shortly after allegations from Western officials that the energy giant is choking the transit of gas to Europe in a bid to push for the approval of the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline. The company’s spokesman, Sergey Kupriyanov told journalists on Saturday that “all accusations alleging that we undersupply gas to the European market are absolutely baseless, unacceptable and inconsistent with reality.”
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of partnership between Moscow and Beijing, claiming that the two nations “have very trusting relations,” which helps build good business ties. He also added that the states are jointly developing high-tech weapons as they cooperate in the field of security.
Putin met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping via video summit earlier this month amid strained relations between East and West. Yuri Ushakov, the Russian leader’s foreign policy adviser, said after the discussions that the leaders pledged to develop shared financial structures to enable the two states to strengthen their economic ties, free from the interference of third countries.
At the end of November, Igor Sechin, the chief of Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft, said that Moscow and Beijing have “achieved historical success in developing comprehensive cooperation and strengthening comprehensive ties, and the industry is creating the basis for further increasing trade.”
The Power of Siberia pipeline is the largest gas transportation system in eastern Russia, boasting an export capacity of 36 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Deliveries of Russian gas via the channel began in December 2019 under a 30-year contract between Gazprom and China’s National Petroleum Corporation, inked in 2014.