State-owned Russian gas firm Gazprom hopes to pump 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year to China from 2018 via the first pipeline between the world’s largest producer of conventional gas to the largest consumer.
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But if the dilemma is a tough one for Japan, it is unlikely to cause Putin much lost sleep.
“I don’t think Putin is worried much by about what is said in Japan or even in Europe.
Rosneft already has some joint projects with companies from Japan, the world’s largest consumer of LNG, and Tokyo has been working hard under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve ties with Moscow, despite a territorial dispute dating from World War Two.
But Japan faces a dilemma over Crimea because it is under pressure to impose sanctions on Moscow as a member of the Group of Seven advanced economies.
“The worse Russia’s relations are with the West, the closer Russia will want to be to China. Although China is nervous about referendums in restive regions of other countries which might serve as a precedent for Tibet and Taiwan, it has refused to criticize Moscow. Not only is China a fellow permanent member of the U. Security Council with whom Russia thinks alike, it is also the world’s second biggest economy and it opposes the spread of Western-style democracy.