Russia, under threat of sanctions from Europe and the US amid the Ukraine crisis, has been seeking new energy markets in Asia
BEIJING - China is expected to sign a natural gas agreement with Russia during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to the country, China's vice foreign minister said Thursday.
Cheng Guoping said that the agreement would be signed and trade ties would be strengthened during a regional conference to be held in Shanghai on May 21.
"Russian and Chinese firms substantially reached a consensus on the issue [agreement]," Cheng told China's Xinhua news agency on Thursday.
He added that there had been some conflict between Gazprom and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation over pricing, but negotiations had continued and were now in a final phase.
He did not share any further details.
Russia, under the threat of sanctions from Europe and the United States amid the crisis in Ukraine, has been trying to create a financial bulwark by seeking new energy markets in Asia.
China will host the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) - a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia - May 21.
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