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China-Russia energise relations, but gas deal still out of reach

China and Russia signed a raft of new deals during president Xi Jinping’s state visit to Moscow. The agreements promise to deepen the countries’ energy ties, but the crucial element of a proposed gas-supply deal – the price – has not yet been finalised

“We didn’t come here and waste our time,” Xi told reporters after meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, hailing the energy agreements as a breakthrough. “Oil and gas pipelines have become the veins connecting the two countries in a new century,” said Xi. It was Xi’s first state visit since becoming president and he was keen to ensure it was a success. Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and second-largest gas producer, yet it has struggled to make inroads with its eastern neighbour even as China’s energy needs have soared. The countries have a complex history and negotiations over energy relations have been beset by mutual distrust. The latest round of negotiations, though,

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