October 12, 2014 / 12:30 PM / 5 years ago

Russia hopeful for government agreement on gas with China

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to visit Moscow

* Deputy minister says several deals to be signed

* Analysts doubt Russia and China can finalise gas deal soon

* Deputy minister says several deals to be signed

By Vladimir Soldatkin

MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Russia has prepared intergovernmental agreements to sign during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Moscow next week including one on a $400 billion natural gas deal agreed in May, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said.

Russian gas exporter Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have agreed that Russia will supply China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas starting from 2019.

Yet on Friday Gazprom said an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and China required for the plan to come into force had not yet been signed.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told Chinese state news agency Xinhua that governmental agreements including one on gas were ready for signing during Li’s coming visit.

“They include an intergovernmental agreement on natural gas supplies via an “‘eastern’ route,” he said.

They also include agreements in nuclear energy, financing, communications and tourism he said in the interview, which was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Sunday.

The banks of the two countries also hope to sign deals on using the yuan and rouble currencies in trade settlements.

Russia is looking to bolster natural gas sales to Asia as differences between Moscow and the European Union sparked by the Ukraine crisis threaten to erode its traditional core export market, Europe.

Analysts and insiders have expressed doubt over whether Russia and China can reach a final gas deal soon, however, given prolonged differences over price. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Neely)

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