Alwaght- Russia's energy exports to China will climb by 40 percent this year, Russian deputy prime minister has said as the two countries seek to further expand ties and avert impacts of persisting US-led sanctions.
Alexander Novak, who handles energy issues for Moscow, made the remarks at a Russian-Chinese Business Forum in Shanghai on Tuesday while pointing out that energy was a key pillar of cooperation with China.
China became the top energy customer for Russia last year after Moscow was hit by massive Western sanctions over its military operation in Ukraine, which began in February 2022 in response to persisting eastern expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance aimed at bringing their forces even closer to Russian borders.
Ever since the beginning of the war, Kiev's Western allies, led by the United States, have been providing Ukraine with advanced weapons and imposing Russia with a slew of sanctions, steps that Moscow says would only prolong the war.
Interfax news agency also quoted Novak on Tuesday as saying that Moscow and Beijing are discussing technological equipment supplies to Russia.
Novak is part of a delegation accompanying Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin for his visit to China.
The premier arrived in Shanghai late Monday for a visit in which he will meet President Xi Jinping and sign a number of deals on infrastructure and trade, according to Russia's foreign ministry.
Also on Tuesday, Mishustin stressed that strengthening ties between Beijing and Moscow will positively impact their economies, noting that bilateral trade turnover may reach $200 billion this year.
Mishustin further emphasized that Moscow will continue exporting hydrocarbons to China on a "long-term basis" and expressed his country's readiness to significantly increase agricultural exports to the East Asian country.
China and Russia have agreed to expand trade, energy and political relations amid the West’s increasingly hostile approach over the war in Ukraine.
The US has become more vigilant about closer ties between Beijing and Moscow ever since President Xi and Vladimir Putin struck a “no limits” partnership in February 2022.
China has blamed the United States and NATO for “provoking” Moscow over the Ukraine war and has condemned Western sanctions against Russia.
Russia has also strongly backed China amid the recent tensions between Beijing and Washington over the US political and military interference in Taiwan.