Russia and China on Thursday said that they had made progress towards agreeing a mega deal for the delivery of Russian gas to its energy-hungry eastern neighbour.
Russian gas giant Gazprom and China's state energy firm signed an agreement after a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin ahead of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg on the "fundamental conditions" for the gas delivery.
Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller said he hoped the final deal -- which has been negotiated for several years already -- could be signed by the end of the year.
The deal envisages Russia pumping 38 billion cubic metres of gas to China from 2018, a major change from the Russian firm's current orientation towards European export.
"Everything has been agreed, except the price," a source close to Gazprom told AFP. The price has been the main sticking point for years in the talks.