China and Russia reaffirm gas deal plans
A key Russian gas exporter signed an agreement with China’s largest state-run energy company, but did not succeed in sorting out the pricing details that would turn it into more than the piece of fancy paper it so far is. Signed with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in attendance, Gazprom head Alexei Miller called it a “framework”. Ostensibly it would send 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas from Siberia to China to feed the Middle Kingdom’s near-insatiable appetite for new energy sources. On Tuesday, the two countries signed 40 trade deals worth a total of $3.5 billion, according to Alexander Zhukov, the Russian deputy prime minister. Putin and Wen are expected to discuss other foreign policy issues considered crucial to both countries, including North Korea.