Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends a gala dinner ahead of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Aly Song, Pool)
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China and Russia failed to sign a $400 billion gas supply agreement Tuesday, despite the growing urgency for the Kremlin to seal a deal as it faces economic and political isolation in the West over the crisis in Ukraine.There is still a chance that the two sides could agree before Putin leaves China Wednesday, or, more likely, in time for an economic forum in the Russian city of St. Petersburg later this week.China's Xi has underscored the importance of ties with Russia, and Moscow was the first capital he visited after becoming president last year.Expectations had run high that Putin's China visit would provide the setting for both parties to ink a contract under which state-owned Gazprom would supply China National Petroleum Corp. with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year for 30 years.Russia said that there was still a chance a deal could be reached in China.Chinese state media Monday quoted Putin as saying that preparations for a gas deal had entered "the final phase," whileChina has so far not been willing to commit, concerned that other suppliers would seek similar deals.
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