MOSCOW, April 30 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it hosted a Chinese delegation to discuss contracts for a pipeline to feed growing Asian demands.
Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller met in Moscow with Zhou Jiping, his counterpart at the China National Petroleum Corp., to discuss China's natural gas needs.
"The parties addressed the state of the contract for pipeline gas supply from Russia to China via the eastern route," Gazprom said in a statement Tuesday. "It was pointed out that preparations were well underway and nearing completion. Gazprom and CNPC are getting ready to sign the contract in May as was initially planned."
Before the conflict over Ukraine erupted in November, Gazprom had said it was interested in tapping into Asian markets where natural gas needs are growing.
Tuesday's meeting in Moscow was the second meeting in April between the two chairmen.
A 2009 framework agreement between Gazprom and CNPC calls for up to 2.4 trillion cubic feet worth of natural gas exports per year. Both sides in September signed an agreement outlining the conditions for Russian gas supplies to China.