Russian energy supplies to China, a vital partner for Moscow in the midst of its offensive in Ukraine, will increase by 40% in 2023 compared to 2022, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Alexander Novak announced on Tuesday.
“Energy supplies are growing in large volumes and have increased significantly in 2022. And in 2023 there will be another increase, around 40%,” Novak said during a meeting with Russian entrepreneurs. in Shanghai, quoted by Russian news agencies.
Alexander Novak is accompanying Mikhail Michoustine on a two-day visit to China during which the Russian Prime Minister will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
China last year became Russia’s largest customer in the energy sector, allowing Moscow, under Western sanctions linked to the offensive in Ukraine, not to see its gas exports collapse.
Their strategic partnership has been further strengthened in recent months.
At a summit in March in Moscow, Presidents Xi and Vladimir Putin had thus praised their “special” relationship, united against Westerners.
On this occasion, they were largely close with a view to the future construction of a gigantic gas pipeline project, “Siberian Force 2”, which should eventually allow Moscow to significantly increase its gas deliveries to China in from Siberia to Chinese Xinjiang.
Well aware of the potential of this infrastructure, Vladimir Putin had also qualified it as “business of the century”.
Russia already supplies gas to Beijing, in particular via the major Siberian Force gas pipeline (which starts from the Russian Far East), and oil, necessary for the energy-intensive Chinese economy.
Alexander Novak also added on Tuesday that Moscow was “resolving problems with (its) partners”, including Beijing, to “deliver (to Russia) the missing technological equipment”.
Since the implementation of Western sanctions, the Russian economy has faced supply shortages, particularly in semiconductors, the microchips found in a wide range of electronic devices.