Date: 24 March 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Russian-Chinese Fossil Fuel Partnership: Putin Humiliated After Xi’s Visit to Moscow

That was not the Putin-Xi summit, but a visit a big brother paid to the younger sibling, the one that is weakening every single month. The Kremlin failed to secure robust support from China and had to swallow further economic concessions to Beijing. Russia is turning more and more into a fuel foothold for China.


Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin allegedly reached an agreement on the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline with a total capacity of 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, the Russian leader told after meeting the Chinese president in Moscow. The Power of Siberia 2 is a planned pipeline that, by 2030, could carry up to 98 bcm of natural gas from Russia to China. Russia is frantically looking for alternate directions to divert its gas flows from Europe as gas volumes have halved. U.S. sanctions could fend off Russian plans to construct and run gas pipelines to China. Western sanctions had made the delivery of a turbine crucial for Russian gas supplies to Europe impossible. Thus Russian companies are interested in cooperating with Iran and China on gas turbine technology and joint production. Xi’s visit to Moscow underscored the Chinese-Russian economic cooperation, with China being in a winning position. This was not only because Xi arrived in Moscow just a few days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. China is Russia’s big brother as Moscow is losing ground in its war against Ukraine. Beijing did not throw any bigger support to Moscow. Both leaders just signed a series of documents on “strategic cooperation” between Beijing and Moscow. Putin has not secured anything more from China, but the Chinese leader forced the Kremlin into more concessions, mostly on cheap energy. Beijing will in turn maintain its diplomatic stance on Russia while not getting involved in the Russian war against Ukraine.

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