Russia, China sign deals worth $3.5 billion

Russian and Chinese companies signed deals worth $3.5 billion on Tuesday.

Russia, China sign deals worth $3.5 billion

Russia and China signed agreements worth $3.5 billion Tuesday, but the partners were still working on a major energy deal, a top Russian official said.

Russian and Chinese companies signed deals worth $3.5 billion, the second day of Putin's visit to Beijing, his deputy, Alexander Zhukov, told reporters there.

The Kremlin last week said the two sides would sign commercial deals worth $5.5 billion during Putin's visit.

"This is the revised number, the final figure," Zhukov said of the $3.5 billion figure, without explaining the discrepancy. "There will be no more commercial deals signed during the visit."

The deals included a $500 million loan from the Agricultural Bank of China to Russia's second biggest lender VTB.

Chinese and Russian news reports have said Putin and Wen may also unveil an agreement on securing Russian natural gas, but it was not clear whether the pact would bring any concrete progress on a deal that has been mired for more than three years amid disagreements over pricing.

When asked by reporters about the possibility of any gas deals being signed, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said: "(Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei) Miller is here, he doesn't just travel around for the sake of it. Make your conclusions."

"We have plenty of gas, (we) will give as much as they need."

Last year, Putin and Wen oversaw the signing of a deal to build a new overland pipeline to ship Siberian oil to China and negotiated an oil-for-loan deal through which China secured Russian oil supply for the next 20 years and Russian companies borrowed $25 billion from China at low rates.

Russia's Gazprom said in 2006 that the Russian gas export monopoly would build two pipelines to China but the projects have been delayed due to disagreements over gas pricing.

A gas pipeline connecting China to gas-rich Turkmenistan in Central Asia is due to be finished by the end of the year, and in June Turkmenistan announced China had agreed to lend it $3 billion to develop its largest gas field.


Last Mod: 13 Ekim 2009, 12:55
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