Russia will become a 'Chinese resource colony' as the Xi Jinping-Vladimir Putin summit highlights economic dependence on Beijing
Russia will become a "Chinese resource colony," a source close to the Kremlin told the Financial Times.
Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow underscored Russia's economic dependence on China amid sanctions.
But Beijing held back from giving a full green light to the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline.
Russia will increasingly be a commodities warehouse for China as Moscow grows more economically dependent on Beijing, a source close to the Kremlin told the Financial Times.
That unequal partnership was on display this week as Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, marking their first summit since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
After Putin launched his war, the West largely cut off Russia from the global financial system and shunned its energy exports, forcing it to reroute its oil and gas to China and India.
Indeed, Chinese purchases of Russian energy jumped 54% to $81.3 billion last year, accounting for 40% of the Kremlin's budget revenue. And in January, Russia exported 2.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China, becoming its top supplier, according to data cited by the FT.
"The logic of events dictates that we fully become a Chinese resource colony," the source told the FT. "Our servers will be from Huawei. We will be China's major suppliers of everything. They will get gas from Power of Siberia. By the end of 2023, the yuan will be our main trade currency."
Russia sees its economic ties with China as the key to winning the war in Ukraine, the source said, adding that Beijing is crucial to weathering Western sanctions while Russian natural resources help lock in China's support.
But the Xi-Putin summit has failed to produce one of Russia's top priorities: finalizing an agreement to build a new natural gas pipeline to China.
The Power of Siberia 2 pipeline is critical to Russia's economic prospects as its energy industry looks to sell more gas to China after cutting off Europe in retaliation for Ukraine war sanctions.
But while Putin said Tuesday that "practically all the parameters of that agreement have been finalized," a joint statement from the two countries said they will "make efforts to advance work on studying and agreeing" on the pipeline.
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