Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on April 10, 2014, during a meeting with his supporters from the All-Russia Popular Front. (AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI / POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV)
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Vladimir Putin is more likely to sign a 30-year deal to supply pipeline gas to China next month after more than a decade of false starts because the crisis in Ukraine is forcing Russia to look for markets outside Europe.CNPC expects to sign a contract with Gazprom "as soon as possible" and talks on prices for supply from Siberia to China are in "active progress," the Chinese company said Thursday.They'll meet again in Moscow later this month before Putin travels to China on May 20, according to a statement from Gazprom. To finance the $22 billion pipeline, Russia sought to match the rates it got for its gas in Europe, a level China hasn't been willing to pay.Starting not earlier than end of 2018, Gazprom plans to supply as much as 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China, about 24 percent of the company's deliveries to Europe last year, which produced about $63 billion, according to the company.
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