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The Sino-Russian Gas Deal: Psychological Warfare in Financial Markets

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, June 01, 2014

Mint Press News

Region: AsiaRussia and FSU

Theme: Global Economy

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A natural gas deal between Russia and China was in the works for a long time, so why all the fuss over its unveiling?

One has to look beyond the headlines when considering world events. The ballyhoo that is made of many of these events is either newspeak or grossly disjointed by narrow-sighted interpretations. The announcement of the mega energy deal for just over 36.8 billion cubic meters (1.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas reached between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on May 21 is just one example of this.

The natural gas deal struck between Beijing and Moscow does not signal anything new or a shift in Russian economic policies and ties with China, but it’s being touted as such.

In one way or another, most news reports about the energy deal are distorting the nature of the Sino-Russian energy agreement and highlighting this particular deal in purely political terms. The gas deal has actually been — excuse the pun — in the pipeline for quite some time, as Beijing and Moscow have talked about and negotiated some sort of long-term gas export-import formula for about 10 years. Anyone that has been following these important negotiations would know this and immediately recognize the sensationalist and distorted nature of the current reporting on the gas agreement.

 

Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Alexei Miller, Zhou Jiping

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, background left, and China’s President Xi Jinping, background right, smile during signing ceremony in Shanghai, China. (AP/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

Pundits and media outlets hostile to Moscow are billing the agreement as a sign that Russia plans on tightening the screws on the energy flow to the European Union. They are using this conjecture to argue for a diversification of energy sources to the EU, encourage EU leaders to rollback economic ties with Moscow, and promote the commencement of a U.S.-supported “fracking revolution” to exploit natural gas and oil reserves through the process of hydraulic fracturing.

On the other hand, pundits and media outlets which are overtly supportive of Moscow are portraying the deal between Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation, or CNPC, as a move by the Kremlin to minimize its economic losses and divert its business Eastward since being confronted with economic sanctions and diplomatic disrespect by the so-called West over Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula.

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