Putin Calls for Compromise on Russia-China Gas Deal

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling for compromise with China on a huge natural gas deal stalled by disagreements over pricing.

Mr. Putin spoke Tuesday in the Chinese capital, at the start of two days of talks with Chinese leaders on trade and energy.

After meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Mr. Putin told reporters that a pricing compromise on a stalled gas deal outlined in 2009 is in the best interests of both countries. He said an agreement is needed that satisfies both sides, but did not outline any concessions Moscow was prepared to make.

Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom and China's National Petroleum Company signed a framework deal two years ago under which China could buy nearly 70 billion cubic meters a year of Russian gas for the next 30 years.

Russia is the world's biggest energy producer, while China is the biggest consumer.

Mr. Putin arrived at Beijing's airport Tuesday afternoon and was taken to a formal welcoming ceremony ahead of his talks with Premier Wen. It is the Russian's first foreign trip since he announced he will seek another term as president of Russia in elections next year.

Envoys from both the countries concluded agreements Monday on $7 billion worth of energy deals.