Russia and China have inked a memorandum of understanding to develop a second route for the delivery of Russian gas to the world’s second largest economy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping presided over the signing of the agreement, following a meeting in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on Sunday ahead of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“Regarding cooperation in the international sphere, the most important thing is cooperation between China and Russia to keep the world within the framework of international law, to make it more stable, more predictable,” Putin said.
Xi, for his part, stated that it is “harvest time” for what he described as the “tree of Russian-Chinese relations.”
The Russian president has earlier emphasized that increasing cooperation with China is one of the Kremlin’s top foreign policy priorities.
Sunday’s agreement came six months after Moscow and Beijing sealed a USD400-billion accord in the Chinese city of Shanghai to export 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to China annually.
The two deals are expected to provide Russia with an opportunity to expand the market for its natural gas, which mostly goes to Europe.
This comes as the US and EU accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and have slapped a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures.
Moscow, however, rejects the accusation, saying the pro-Russia protests in Ukraine began spontaneously against the new government in Kiev.