Russian energy deliveries to China were set to grow by 40 percent this year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday, as Moscow seeks to deepen ties with Beijing in the face of Western sanctions.
Novak travelled to Shanghai as part of a delegation accompanying Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Speaking at a Russian-Chinese Business Forum, Novak said energy was a key pillar of cooperation with China, adding that he expected supplies to grow by around 40 percent this year.
He also said that Russia and China were discussing plans cooperate on the “supply of the missing technological equipment,” an apparent reference to shortfalls Russia is experiencing stemming from sanctions.
Russia’s gas exports plummeted in 2022 after a flurry of Western sanctions over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
As Europe looked for other suppliers, Moscow turned to alternative buyers including China, with which it is already linked by the Power of Siberia pipeline.
Beijing and Moscow have drawn closer in recent years under a partnership that has served as a diplomatic bulwark against the West.
China has sought to position itself as a neutral party in Moscow’s assault on Ukraine, but has refused to condemn Russia.
In March, Chinese leader Xi Jinping travelled to Moscow in what was widely seen as Beijing’s support for internationally isolated Russian leader Vladimir Putin.