NewsPutin seeks Chinese deal to counter Western sanctions

Putin seeks Chinese deal to counter Western sanctions

Putin found an idea for the sanctions. He wants to sell oil and gas to China.
Putin found an idea for the sanctions. He wants to sell oil and gas to China.
Images source: © PAP | XINHUA / Rao Aimin

4:22 PM EDT, May 17, 2024

During his visit to Beijing, Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow is considering increasing oil supplies to the Chinese market by building an oil pipeline "in the same corridor" as the planned Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline. Earlier, he stated that Beijing had confirmed its "interest" in constructing the gas pipeline.

Russia, currently cut off from Western markets due to the embargo on its fossil resources, is seeking to negotiate an agreement with China regarding the construction of the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline. According to Reuters, such a move would allow Moscow to compensate for losses in the energy sector.

On the second day of his visit to China, Putin visited the city of Harbin in the northeast of the country. Harbin is largely a center of economic contact between the two countries. Putin visited a fair there showcasing Russian companies.

Putin criticized the sanctions policy pursued by the United States. In his view, the sanctions undermine trust in the dollar. He stated that the threat of sanctions against Chinese banks that facilitate Russia's international transactions is "completely devoid of common sense" and proves the "stupidity" of Washington.

As Reuters explains, the threat of American retaliation against China's financial sector has led banks in that country to reduce cooperation with Russian companies. However, Putin assured there is a possibility of resolving the payment issues in Russian-Chinese transactions, although he did not provide details on how this would work.

Time is on China's side

Business Insider, citing conversations with experts, wrote on Thursday that Putin is trying to balance Russian-Chinese economic relations. Since the aggression against Ukraine, Russia has found itself in the role of a petitioner in this relationship. The offer to supply Russian gas through a new pipeline would tie both countries "in a closer geopolitical alliance, " leading to more excellent balance in their trade exchange.

However, as Business Insider notes, time is on China's side, and it can wait for larger gas supplies until the 2030s. Beijing is counting on Russia, which is increasingly dependent and vassalized, to provide its latest military technologies, allowing China to make a significant developmental leap in this sector.

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