China, Russia reach big oil deal

China, Russia reach big oil deal
Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev share a light moment at a signing ceremony in Beijing

Russia will supply an additional 10 million metric tons of crude oil to China a year over the next decade, visiting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during an online chat with netizens on Tuesday.

The deal, to be done by Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft, will be worth $85 billion, Medvedev said.

"It is a big sum of money to any country, even to China. It testifies to the fact that we have reached a higher and a brand new level of cooperation," he said.

China's oil imports stood at 276 million tons last year, with Russia being the fourth-largest provider.

Medvedev also said he hopes that a contract on natural gas deliveries to China will be signed soon.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed in March, Russia will supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually starting in 2018. The volume is expected to increase to 60 billion cubic meters in following years.

Shortly before the online chat, Premier Li Keqiang and Medvedev co-chaired the 18th regular meeting of the Chinese and Russian heads of government.

The regular meeting has become an important platform to outline cooperation between the two countries.

"Energy cooperation between China and a third party will not affect cooperation between China and Russia," Li said, adding that China-Russia energy cooperation is of long-term strategic significance.

Cooperation between China and Russia is also collaboration between major emerging economies, Li said.

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