No price deal yet on Russian-Chinese gas supply contract - Medvedev
Russia and China are still locked in final talks on the price of gas for a long-awaited 30-year supply contract, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
\"We have gas agreements on both the western and
eastern routes. These are our short-term plans. At the moment, documents related to gas delivery to the People\'s Republic of China are being finalized. These are strategic documents for decades to come. We can form trade turnover on their basis,\" Medvedev told a news conference following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.
Last September, Russia and China, the world largest energy market, signed a binding supply document, which outlined the western supply route, in which gas will come from Western Siberia and the eastern route, from which gas will come from Eastern Siberia, Russia\'s Far East and Sakhalin. Russia\'s gas export monopoly Gazprom plans to start building the Altai gas pipeline in the middle of this year for the western route and launch operations at the end of 2015.
That deal did not include prices for the gas. China has invested heavily in gas deliveries from other sources such as Australia and Turkmenistan, and many analysts think Beijing considers itself to be in a buyers\' market, despite increasing demand for gas from Europe.
Hu and Medvedev also set the target of more than tripling trade volume between the two countries to $200 billion by 2020.
\"We have worked out serious figures...to achieve a trade turnover of $100 billion by 2015, $200 billion by 2020. This will be a level worthy of Russian-Chinese partnership and cooperation,\" Medvedev said.
He said that trade turnover should be increased not only on the back of a reassessment of the value of traditional goods, but also thanks to the appearance of new ones.
\"Are we satisfied with the way trade turnover looks like today? This is a rhetorical question. Yes and no. On one hand, there are large amounts of goods purchased by our citizens, they create jobs, profits. On the other hand, it is clear there are still some problems,\" Medvedev said.