10 May 2015, News wires – Russia has reportedly signed a deal with China to secure billions of dollars in loans in an apparent move to circumvent Western sanctions that have cut off vital financing for the likes of state-owned giant Rosneft.
Russian companies, which have been badly hit by sanctions as well as weaker global oil prices, could receive up to $25 billion over the next three years under the pact, Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, told Reuters.
The agreement was among a number of accords to strengthen economic co-operation between the two countries that were signed in Moscow as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday.
“Today, China is our strategic and key partner,” Putin said as he and Xi presided over a signing ceremony in front of rows of Russian and Chinese officials in the Kremlin.
Last year, the two countries agreed a $400 billion deal for Russia to supply China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas annually from 2018 for 30 years.
Building on that deal, natural gas producer Gazprom signed a deal on Friday with state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation on the main terms of providing supplies via what is known as the Western route.
The deal signings took place on the eve of a Russian military parade in Moscow’s Red Square to mark the end of World War Two in Europe that will be attended by about 30 foreign dignitaries, though Western leaders have shunned the event over Russia’s alleged military intervention in Ukraine.