A picture made available on 30 June 2015 shows workers start the construction of the Chinese section of the China-Russia East Route natural gas pipeline, also known as the Power of Siberia trunk pipeline, in Heihe in northeast China's Heilongjiang province 29 June 2015. EPA/SONG FULAI CHINA OUT
Moscow, December 2 (efe-epa).- Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin on Monday inaugurated the Power of Siberia pipeline through which Russia will supply natural gas to China over the next three decades.
"The contract signed by our countries in 2014 has been the biggest in the history of the national gas sector," said the Russian president in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The start of supplies is a "historical event for both Russia and China," Putin said via a video link with his Chinese counterpart, and with two gas compressor stations on both sides of the border between the two countries.
Putin said the pipeline took Russian-Chinese cooperation in the energy sector to a "new qualitative level" and worked towards a goal established between Moscow and Beijing to reach $200 billion in bilateral trade by 2024.
The head of Gazprom Exports, Andrei Zotov, said on the sidelines of the launch of the pipeline that China would receive 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, a volume that would increase to 10 billion in 2021 and 15 billion in 2022.
Gazprom will supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year over a 30-year period, according to a contract signed in May 2014 with Chinese oil company CNPC.