Xi Jinping provides Putin lifeline as Russia to build new pipeline to redirect gas from EU

Russia invasion ‘a large 9/11’ says Ukrainian MP

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Russian state-backed oil giant Gazprom is looking to sign a major new deal with China that will carry a record amount of natural gas to the country. This comes as the rest of the world severs all ties with Russia after its President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine. Since the invasion, countries around the world have hit Russia with harsh sanctions.

Among these sanctions, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered the withdrawal of a key document needed for certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The pipeline would have sent Russian gas to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland on the route through the Baltic Sea.

However, experts now warn that Putin may be handed a lifeline that will lessen the impact of the sanctions he now faces in Europe and North America.

According to a statement from Gazprom, the fossil fuel giant has signed a contract to design the Soyuz Vostok pipeline across Mongolia toward China.

The statement said that this new pipeline “will be a continuation of the Russian gas pipeline Power of Siberia – 2”.

The two countries are now looking to sign a supply contract that if agreed upon, will allow the supply of up to 50 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year to China

According to the statement, China is the world’s fastest-growing gas market, with the nation’s total natural gas imports increasing by 19.9 percent in the past year, with pipeline gas imports rising more than 22 percent year on year.

In the past year, China’s natural gas imports from Russia rose by a massive 50.5 percent, as the two countries deepen ties.

The new supply deal with China would also enable Gazprom to build an interconnector between its west- and eastbound pipeline systems.

This would effectively allow Putin to redirect gas that normally flows to Europe and send them towards China.

This would lessen the impacts of sanctions and would give Gazprom a backup option as the EU looks to reduce its reliance on energy from Russia.

Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said: “Work on the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline project is actively and successfully progressing.

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“A month ago, the results of a feasibility study were approved, and today a design contract has been signed.

“This means that the project has entered the practical stage.”

Earlier this month, Russia agreed on a 30-year contract to supply gas to China via a new pipeline.

Danil Bochkov, an expert on Russia, Europe and China, said this deal would be very useful for Putin in the face of these sanctions.

He said: “So now, Russia- China recently concluded gas and oil projects which would elevate Russia to #1 supplier of China by 2050 come in extremely handy.”

Earlier he noted: “New gas and oil projects serve as testimony to the growing Russia-China energy alliance since they are expected to make Russia [the] biggest gas supplier to China.”

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