China and Russia Aim for Further Progress in Gas Cooperation

China and Russia signed an agreement on gas cooperation, and hope to see further progress in this area, said Tuesday Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

During a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the end of the seventh session of meetings on energy between Chinese and Russian negotiators, Mr. Wang said that China hopes that both parties might set to make substantial progress in negotiations as quickly as possible.

Wang said the China-Russia energy cooperation, which is characterized by a broad collaboration on long-term and strategic importance, is a key element of strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

During this new round of energy talks, the two sides exchanged views and plans on future energy cooperation which showed the mutual trust and frank spirit that exists between China and Russia, noted by the Deputy Prime Minister of China.

Mr. Wang and his Russian counterpart Igor Sechin on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding on gas cooperation between the two countries.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the two countries had jointly overcome the impact of the global financial crisis on their bilateral trade, and the volume of trade between the two countries reached 18 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter and could reach $ 70 billion at the end of the year.

He stressed that energy cooperation plays an important role in strengthening the strategic partnership of cooperation, and that Russia is satisfied with the efforts by both countries in areas such as oil, gas, coal, energy nuclear, hydro and renewables.

After the pipeline project between China and Russia, which came into operation on 1 January, the two countries are negotiating two long-term projects involving pipelines, Putin said.

These projects, named the “west line” and the “East line” which will respectively provide China with 30 billion and 28 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, will be based on agreements of 30-years period, Putin said.