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With new gas pipeline, Russia's exports flow east

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published 1 week ago - Duration: 02:02s

With new gas pipeline, Russia's exports flow east

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping launched a landmark gas pipeline on Monday, in a boost to economic and political ties between the two major powers.

David Doyle reports.

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With new gas pipeline, Russia's exports flow east

Smiles and waves between Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping on Monday (December 2).

Though this isn't just a casual video chat between two of the world's most powerful men, but the launch of a landmark pipeline that will transport natural gas from Siberia to north east China - a boost to economic and political ties between Moscow and Beijing and part of Russia's attempt to pivot East, away from the pain of Western financial sanctions imposed over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "This is a remarkable, genuinely historical event not only for the global energy market but above all for us, for Russia and China." The 1,865-mile Power of Siberia pipeline will transport gas from the Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia to the Chinese province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia, going on to Jilin and Liaoning, China's top grain hub.

Flows via the pipeline will gradually rise to 38 billion cubic meters per year by 2025 - possibly making China Russia's second largest gas customer behind Germany.

The exports are projected to generate, over three decades, $400 billion for Russia's coffers.

So, its unsurprising that they were keen to turn the tap on.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) GAZPROM CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ALEXEI MILLER, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN AND GAZPROM EMPLOYEE (NO NAME GIVEN) SAYING: "Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) I request your permission to open the pipeline valve." PUTIN: "I grant permission." MULLER: "Operator, I ask you to open the pipeline valve." GAZPROM EMPLOYEE: "The pipeline at the Russian-Chinese border is opened.

The gas supply has started." Monday's launch cements China as Russia's top export market and comes as Moscow is hoping to launch two other major energy projects - the Nord Stream 2 undersea Baltic gas pipeline to Germany and the TurkStream pipeline to Turkey and southern Europe.

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