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Putin called the Chinese “serious negotiators” but “reliable partners” who drove a hard bargain during Putin’s two-day visit which over saw the signing of a raft of cooperative agreements between the two sides including a mammoth $400 billion gas deal.
“I must give your Government colleagues their due and say that they drank quite a bit of our blood during the negotiations. The Chinese are very serious negotiators. But they are also reliable partners who seek to reach agreement, listen to their counteragents, listen to their friends, work towards compromise and find it, and this is extremely important,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Friday.
Putin held talks with Yuanchao on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Russian President acknowledged the growing clout of China in the world economy saying the Chinese government’s position on key development issues is of “considerable importance for everyone who is following closely the global economy’s development”.
He also noted that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping made personal interventions to ensure the smooth passage of the Sino-Russian deals.
“I am very grateful of course to President of the People’s Republic of China and my friend Mr. Xi Jinping, who took personal interest in all of the issues discussed during our negotiations. I think that were it not for his personal intervention on some key issues in our talks we probably would not have arrived at the decisions we did,” Putin said.
Moscow will now deliver upto 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year to the world’s top energy user, China.
Although no official price has been announced, sources say it is around an average price of $387 per thousand cubic meters.
With this deal, Russia has secured a key energy partner even as it battles US and EU sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.