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Image courtesy of the Kremlin

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin that preparations for an agreement on long-awaited Russian natural gas exports to China have entered “the final phase”.

Putin said, “For Russia, implementing these agreements means diversifying gas supply destinations, while for our Chinese partners … it could be a remedy for energy shortages and helps ecological security.”

Putin is scheduled for a two day visit to Shanghai on May 20-21.

Under the terms of the deal, Russia would supply China with 38 bcm of gas per year for 30-years.

This weekend Gazprom said it was still “one digit” away from finalizing the deal.

Earlier this month, CNPC said it had reached an agreement with Gazprom to sign a contract during Putin’s visit, but that the two sides had yet to settle on price differences.