Russian President Vladimir Putin told Chinese media that the strength of Russia-China relations is at an all-time high as the two countries are reportedly finalizing a 30-year gas-supply deal.
"Now Russia-China cooperation is advancing to a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction," Putin said. "It would not be wrong to say that it has reached the highest level in all its centuries-long history."
The gas deal, which has been on the table for over 10 years, would send 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year starting in 2018 with the potential to expand the annual capacity to 61 billion cubic meters.
China consumed about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2013 and set a target of up to 420 billion cubic meters a year by 2020.
Europe is Russia’s largest energy importer as it bought more than 160 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2013, but tensions and sanctions over Putin's meddling in Ukraine have Russia looking elsewhere.
Consequently, the deal is huge for the Kremlin since natural gas represents nearly 60% of Russia's total exports.