During a live ceremony watched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a new gas supply connecting the two countries was launched.
The natural gas will be shipped from Russia to China via the “Power of Siberia” pipeline. The Power of Siberia pipeline will be facilitating a trade deal between Russia and China that’s expected to be worth $200 billion by 2024. The new gas supplies, which were commemorated on Monday, are the first among three large new energy projects in Russia. Amid an economic standoff with the west, Russia has been cementing its economic ties with China, which is a big customer of Russian natural gas.
Amid the new gas being shipped to China through Siberia, Russia is currently working on two other pipelines to the west. The two new pipelines will both bypass Ukraine, a country that has long been a transit point for Russian gas. The “TurkStream” pipeline is expected to launch in January, connecting Russian gas to Turkey in another major launch that both Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan hope to have completed soon.
The last of the three ambitious energy projects, “Nord Stream 2,” is expected to double Russian gas shipments to Germany. That pipeline is expected to be launched sometime during mid-2020. Many analysts expect that the combination of these three pipelines will offer significant economic (and political) benefits to Russia. Russia will by then have firmly established itself in both the lucrative European energy market and the growing Chinese market.