SHANGHAI, May 19 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday from Shanghai that a stronger energy relationship with China would provide mutual benefits.
A 2009 framework agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp. calls on the Russian company to export as much as 2.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to the Chinese market each year. Both sides have discussed options for building a natural gas pipeline to enhance deliveries.
"For Russia, implementing these agreements means diversifying gas supply destinations, while for our Chinese partners ... it could be a remedy for energy shortage and helps ecological security," he told China's official Xinhua News Agency.
Formal natural gas deals, he said, are in their final stages.
Putin is expected to spend two days on a state visit to Beijing this week.
Alexei Miller, the top executive at Russian energy company Gazprom, met Sunday in Beijing with Zhou Jiping, his counterpart at CNCP.
"The parties addressed the crucial issues of the bilateral cooperation prior to the oncoming official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China," the Russian gas company said in a statement.
Miller's weekend visit to Beijing is his fourth since the beginning of 2014.