In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, harsh sanctions were imposed on the country by the western world.

Experts were quick to give a gloomy forecast of Russia’s economic outlook as a result of the sanctions.

Russia was supposed to post 2.5% GDP growth for Fiscal Year 2022 prior to the invasion, though experts forecasted that Russia’s economy would contract by about 10 percent as a result of the sanctions.

Instead, Russia’s currency, the Ruble, is the strongest its been against the US dollar since 2018.

Chinese and Japanese banks have expanded their business ties to Russia, helping to soften the blow of US sanctions, while China and India have ramped up their purchases of Russian oil.

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Now, the Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, has revealed that Russia’s Power of Siberia 2, an oil pipeline from Russia to China, could replace Nordstream 2.

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Moscow has announced that Nord Stream 2 will be “replaced” by an alternative gas pipeline to China.

Power of Siberia 2, something Moscow and Beijing have discussed for several years, will take the place of Nord Stream 2, said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday.

Nordstream 2 is a proposed route for bringing Russian gas to Europe, particularly Germany. Construction of the controversial pipeline was completed in September 2021, though its certification was suspended following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking on Russian state television, Novak was asked if the Asian pipeline could replace its European counterpart within Russia’s energy strategy — to which he replied “yes”.

Earlier in the day, the minister indicated that Russia and China would soon sign a deal to deliver “50 billion cubic metres of gas” per year via the proposed Power of Siberia 2 pipeline.

This volume represents almost the maximum capacity of Nord Stream 1 – 55 billion m³ in total – which has been shut down since September.

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