Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping during inaugurating the Power of Siberia pipeline in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. China and Russia launched Monday a more than 6,000 kilometer-long gas pipeline in one realization of the countries' long-planned energy partnerships. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

China, Russia launch gas pipeline more than 3,700 miles long

Pipeline is part of new, long-term energy plan

As its relationships with Europe and the United States have grown more volatile, Russia is looking to bring its vast natural gas resources to the east. China is the world’s largest energy consumer and needs new supply sources to meet domestic demand.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping during inaugurating the Power of Siberia pipeline in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. China and Russia launched Monday a more than 6,000 kilometer-long gas pipeline in one realization of the countries' long-planned energy partnerships.
Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the pipeline — dubbed the “Power of Siberia” — through a joint video conference.

“This step takes Russia-China energy cooperation to a whole new level and brings us closer to achieving the goal set together with Chinese President Xi Jinping of extending bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion in 2024,” Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping during inaugurating the Power of Siberia pipeline in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. China and Russia launched Monday a more than 6,000 kilometer-long gas pipeline in one realization of the countries' long-planned energy partnerships.
Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

The pipeline bolsters the nations’ ties while China is embroiled in a trade dispute with the U.S. It stems from a $400 billion deal signed in 2014 by Russian state energy giant Gazprom, which agreed to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China National Petroleum Corp for the next 30 years. Gazprom built the Russian side of the pipeline, which runs from new Siberian gas fields to the Chinese border.

Russia began seeking alternative economic partnerships after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

The Power of Siberia pipeline is a “project of symbolic importance for China-Russia cooperation,” said Xi, who expressed hope that the pipeline will become a driving force for economic and social development in the regions it traverses.

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