Leaders from China and Russia called on April 9 for efforts to promote solid bilateral cooperation in the nuclear, natural gas, oil, electricity and new energy sectors.
Vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, who co-chaired the China-Russia energy cooperation committee meeting in Beijing with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, said he hoped the two countries will advance cooperation in the energy industries, expand the scale of cooperation in upstream oil projects and promote the development of a joint-venture refinery in Tianjin.
“China also hopes to work closely with Russia in the fields of liquefied natural gas and nuclear energy and further increase coal and electricity imports from Russia,” he said.
Dvorkovich said Russia is willing to accelerate the pace of cooperation between the two countries.
The meeting came at a time when the crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the need for Russia to diversify beyond its gas exports to Europe.
Lin Boqiang, head of the China Center for Energy Economic Research with Xiamen University, said Russia wants a more diverse export strategy and is looking toward the Far East as it tries to wean itself off a dependence on Europe.
“But it is all about diversification, not a complete shift,” he said.
China and Russia signed a number of energy deals last year. Russia is expected to boost its crude oil supply to China. A natural gas pipeline connecting China and Russia is also on the horizon.