Russian Deputy PM Novak to visit China this week

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, President Vladimir Putin’s top oil and gas point man, will head a Russian delegation to China for participation in an inter governmental commission on energy, the government said on Monday.

It said without elaboration that the delegation of up to 20 officials will visit China on Dec. 12-16.

China has become one of Russia’s main trade partner and together with India buys a bulk of Russian oil exports, which Moscow has redirected from Europe following sanctions imposed on Russia after the start of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia also seeks to boost its natural gas supplies to China to around 100 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year by 2030 from more than 22 bcm expected to be shipped via the Power of Siberia 1 pipeline this year.

Moscow has been engaged for painstaking talks with China over the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline, designed to carry Russian natural gas from northern Siberia – a source base for dwindling deliveries to Europe – to China via Mongolia.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Sandra Maler)