Russia, China pledge closer ties as joint military drills beginUpdated: 2014-05-22 06:32:55 (KST)
Presidents Xi and Putin FINALLY came to an agreement and signed off on a HUGE gas deal worth 4-hundred billion U.S. dollars on Wednesday.
A 30-year contract between the Russian state-controlled fuel supplier and Chinese National Petroleum Corporation is seen as an indicator that Moscow has finally found a new buyer for its gas OUTSIDE of Europe.
The business deal was first discussed during the first round of summit talks on Tuesday, but was left unsigned, as both sides couldn't agree on a price at which Russia would supply gas.
The price-tag on the Russian gas is still not disclosed, but the deal is seen as a move by Moscow to shift the country's interests eastward, amid sanctions from the international community for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
During a meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday, Presidents Xi and Putin agreed to strengthen their economic and military ties.
They also held in-depth talks about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Praising the tightening military ties between the two sides, President Putin said he was convinced Moscow and Beijing could forge a strong strategic partnership and that bilateral military co-operation was developing very well.
Putin's visit to China coincided with the beginning of the two countries' joint naval exercises 'Joint Sea 2014'.
The drills have raised red flags in Seoul as they will overlap with South Korea's expanded air defense identification zone.
Neither Moscow nor Beijing notified the South Korean government prior to its announcement.
It's the first time an international military exercise has taken place within Korean waters since the expansion of the air defense zone last December.
In regards to the security situation on the Korean peninsula, both sides said they were concerned about North Korea's nuclear program and the simmering political and military tensions between the two Koreas.
China and Russia stressed the long-stalled six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization are the only effective way of reaching a deal everyone is happy with.
They called on all parties to do more to secure peace and stability in the region.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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