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Facing Western sanctions, Putin toasts 30-year gas deal with China

Natural gas will flow via pipeline from Russia to China’s major cities as early as 2018, thanks to a massive deal between the two countries. The $400 billion, 30-year pact is a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin at a moment when Russia faces Western economic sanctions over its actions in Ukraine. Jeffrey Brown reports.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now to a massive energy agreement worth hundreds of billions of dollars between two nations whose relationships with the United States grow more tense by the day.

    Jeffrey Brown reports.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    The $400 billion deal became reality at this ceremony in Shanghai yesterday. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping toasted the 30-year pact between their state-controlled gas monopolies.

    PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): This will be the biggest construction in the world for the next four years, without any exaggeration. It is new enterprises and thousands of new workplaces.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Today, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry also hailed the agreement.

    HONG LEI, Spokesman, Chinese Foreign Ministry (through interpreter): These deals play a significant role in promoting comprehensive energy cooperation and the overall strategic partnership between China and Russia.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    To make it all happen, Russia will lay thousands of miles of new pipelines across Siberia, sending natural gas to China's major cities as early as 2018. The deal is a victory for Putin at a moment when Russia faces Western economic sanctions over its actions in Ukraine.

    In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday the sanctions will go forward regardless.

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