Xi Jinping provides Putin lifeline  with 30-year gas deal after Scholz cuts Nord Stream 2

Russia: Boris Johnson imposes sanctions amid Ukraine invasion

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Western powers imposed fresh sanctions on Russia as last night Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine after declaring them as independent entities. Russian military vehicles have been spotted rolling into the Ukrainian city of Donetsk shortly after Mr Putin ordered troops to conduct a “peacekeeping mission”, reports claim.

Amid the sanctions imposed by the US and UK, German chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered the withdrawal of a key document needed for certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The pipeline would have sent Russian gas to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland on the route through the Baltic Sea.

However, experts now warn that Mr Putin may be handed a lifeline that will lessen the impact of the sanctions he now faces in Europe and North America.

Earlier this month, Russia agreed on a 30-year contract to supply gas to China via a new pipeline.

According to industry officials in Beijing, the Russian state-backed oil corporation Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports by pipeline, agreed to supply Chinese state energy major CNPC with 10 billion cubic metres of gas a year.

Danil Bochkov, an expert on Russia, Europe and China said that this deal would be very useful for Mr Putin in the face of these sanctions.

He said: “So now, Russia- China recently concluded gas and oil projects which would elevate Russia to #1 supplier of China by 2050 come in extremely handy.”

Earlier he noted: “New gas and oil projects serve as testimony to the growing Russia-China energy alliance since they are expected to make Russia [the] biggest gas supplier to China.

“While 25 per cent of all oil produced by the Russian state-owned energy giant Rosneft will now go to China.”

Russia already pumps gas to China through its Power of Siberia pipeline, which began the flow of energy in 2019, and by shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Last year, it exported 16.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to China.

Mr Bochkov warned that this new alliance “signifies that the future of global politics will be driven by the ideological competition for the role of prime architect of a new world order, with Moscow and Beijing already keen to co-produce the blueprints.”

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Meanwhile, various Western powers have promised sanctions against Russia.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has warned of “massive economic sanctions”.

US President Joe Biden of “severe consequences” and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sanctions to “individuals and companies of strategic importance to the Russian state”.

But Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst told Express.co.uk that China can provide relief from sanctions as the pair now have close ties.

He also made clear that Russia’s status as an “energy superpower” may make it immune to certain sanctions.

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