As was announced earlier, Power of Siberia was switched on today.
And, without being sappy sentimental, it is, indeed, a historic moment since solidifies Russian-Chinese alliance with the blood of modern geopolitics--energy. Initially, Power of Siberia will pump modest volumes of natural gas but they will grow each month. China will need more, much more. Even English language propaganda outlets such as Associated Press had to note a true meaning of this pipeline.
BEIJING (AP) — China and Russia launched on Monday a gas pipeline that is more than 6,000 kilometers (3,750 miles) long, an outcome of their long-planned energy partnership. As its relationships with Europe and the United States have grown more volatile, Russia is looking to bring its vast natural gas resources to the east. China is the world’s largest energy consumer and needs new supply sources to meet domestic demand. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the pipeline — dubbed the “Power of Siberia” — through a joint video conference. “This step takes Russia-China energy cooperation to a whole new level and brings us closer to achieving the goal set together with Chinese President Xi Jinping of extending bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion in 2024,” Putin said. The pipeline bolsters the nations’ ties while China is embroiled in a trade dispute with the U.S. It stems from a $400 billion deal signed in 2014 by Russian state energy giant Gazprom, which agreed to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China National Petroleum Corp for the next 30 years. Gazprom built the Russian side of the pipeline, which runs from new Siberian gas fields to the Chinese border.
Remarkable in this commitment to get to $200 billion volume of trade, which now seems a totally achievable goal by 2024. It also makes it clear that with Power of Siberia operational and more similar projects in the pipeline (ahem), Russia's position vis-a-vis Europe re: gas supplies improves dramatically. I am sure Kiev is celebrating this event joyfully (/sarc). Nothing personal, just business, which also makes Russia's shift to Asia obvious. There will be a lot of back-and-forth on this issue in coming days, but, hopefully, there will be enough cool heads who will look into the issue of power balance WITHIN Russian-Chinese geopolitical arrangement, to finally dispel all this contrived BS about "junior-senior partner" dichotomy and will concentrate on actual tangibles which drive Russian-Chinese relations and, with that, world's power balance. Who would have thought 15 years ago that the world will move the way Russia and China move.