US downplays Russia-China gas deal

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

The US has downplayed the USD 400 billion gas deal between Russia and China, saying it does not affect Washington’s strategy to put pressure on Moscow for solving the Ukraine crisis.

“Russia and China have been negotiating for more than a decade about a natural gas deal. I know there have been a range of reports about whether it’s been locked in or not.

“But energy is a global market. There are always new deals getting signed, particularly with major consumers and producers like China and Russia. So we will continue to pursue our strategy as it relates to putting pressure on Russia,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

“Our view is that these negotiations have been going on for about 10 years, and certainly there are decisions that China needs to make, many countries make, based on their economic needs, their energy needs,” she said.

However, The Wall Street Journal has said the deal would give Russia a boost as its relations with the West have soured.

“The deal also strengthens Russia’s hand as the European Union pushes to find alternatives to gas supplies from Russia, now its largest single supplier,” the US daily said.

Published on May 22, 2014

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