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Russia plans to agree on gas supplies to China via western route this year -- Deputy PM

Russia plans to finalize talks on gas supplies to China via western route, known as Altai, is in the current year, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Tuesday.

"We aim at doing this (finalizing the talks - TASS) in the current year though we are not setting any particular dates," he said.

"Regarding the western route, the talks are in full swing both in the field of technic specifications and commercial terms," Dvorkovich added.

Earlier the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the People's Republic of China said the agreement might be signed during the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow in May this year.

Meanwhile Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia could sign the documents on gas supplies to China via western route in the second quarter of 2015.

Russia's Gazprom and China's CNPC signed a framework agreement on natural gas supplies from Russia to China via the western route on 10 November 2014.

The western route implies the construction of the so-called gas pipeline network "Altai" to deliver up to 30 bln cubic meters of gas annually.

Gazprom's Altai pipeline is to connect fields in Western Siberia with Northwest China through the Altai Republic. Gazprom and CNPC inked a framework agreement for the Altai project in October 2009 after beginning negotiations in 2004. The passage will be in addition to the eastern pipeline, Power of Siberia, which will deliver 38 billion cubic meters of gas.

[Source: Itar Tass, Eijing, 21Apr15]

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