Russia says don't jump to conclusions on China gas deal

Russia says don't jump to conclusions on China gas deal

MOSCOW - Russia's Gazprom told doubters on Wednesday not to jump to any conclusions over President Vladimir Putin's failure so far to sign a long-awaited gas deal with China, saying all would become clear in due course.

Responding to speculation the two sides might not reach a deal after they failed to sign the US$400 billion (S$501.2 billion) gas supply agreement on the first day of Putin's two-day visit to China on Tuesday, spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on: "You will know everything in due course. Don't jump to any conclusions."

Putin's trip to Shanghai had spurred speculation that he would sign the deal, but some analysts suggest he may prefer to announce the agreement's conclusion during this week's economic forum in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

A source at state-controlled Gazprom said the natural gas exporter had hoped for the deal to be signed in China.

"We are already getting ready for it. But it's apparently difficult so far," the source said.

He said the price would be on a par with the average sum paid by European consumers, otherwise the deal would be delayed.

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