By: Nadeemy Haded
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday hailed the "historic" launch of the first gas pipeline between the two countries, dubbed "Force of Siberia".
"This is really a historic event, not only for the global energy market, but above all for you and for us, for Russia and China," Putin said in a video call broadcast by Russian television.
He added that the project "will carry Russian-Chinese strategic cooperation to a completely different level."
The Power of Siberia pipeline connects the gas fields in Eastern Siberia to the Chinese border, extending more than 2,000 kilometers. In the long run, the line will extend over 3,000 kilometers.
The first gas pipeline between Russia and China aims to satisfy China's huge need for energy. The project symbolizes the strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow, especially in the field of energy.
"The tap is open! The gas is entering," said Alexei Miller, head of Russia's state-owned gas group Gazprom. He stood next to him with dozens of employees in blue and white uniforms symbolizing the giant company.
On the Chinese side, Gazprom's partner, Petro China, appeared on the screen in red, standing in close quarters.
China is supposed to finish building its share of the pipeline between 2022 and 2023 to transport gas to Shanghai.
"The development of Sino-Russian relations is now and will be a priority of the foreign policy of both countries," Xi said.
"It is a historic project," he said. "It is a model for deep integration and mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries."
According to Gazprom, about 10,000 people have worked to build this unprecedented project since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Source Sky News