The Power of Siberia
Deepening China-Russia Partnership
December 2nd was a notable day in the strategic relationship between Beijing and Moscow, which saw the first shipments of Russian natural gas to China via the much-awaited Power of Siberia pipeline. The $55 billion project is Russia’s most significant energy undertaking since the collapse of the Soviet Union, part of a larger $400 billion deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas (bcm) per year for 30 years. Pressure from Western sanctions – brought on by Russia’s illegal 2014 annexation of Crimea – is accelerating the Kremlin’s pivot away from the European Union towards the energy hungry East. The 1,800 mile pipeline is a hedge against a potentially shrinking market in Europe, where souring diplomatic relations and rapid penetration of renewables threatens the appetite for Russia’s oil and natural gas in the long-run.
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