- let it flow May 21
China agreed today to a $400 billion deal to buy Russian natural gas over a 30-year period in what is being called a "financial and diplomatic boost" for Moscow. The contract, which was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's two-day trip to China, calls for Russia's state-controlled Gazprom to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually to a Chinese-owned oil outlet.
Observers see the deal as a move by Putin to shift his country's commercial interests away from the United States and Europe as the West continues to sanction Russia over its invasion of the Crimean peninsula in February and other violations of Ukrainian sovereignty. Putin was greeted warmly by the Chinese and the two countries signed several other agreements.
An international relations expert called the deal "good news" for both countries. "The political requirements on both sides are so powerful they can overcome the concerns on price," said Shi Yinhong of Beijing's People's University. "This is a political action by both sides."- - Jordan Valinsky
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week