Russia is close to signing a decades-long contract to supply natural gas to China at a price that would value the deal at about $400 billion, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev’s boss Vladimir Putin arrives in Shanghai today to try and complete an agreement after more than 10 years of talks. The stumbling block has been price, but with Putin facing trade and financial sanctions from the U.S. and European Union after he annexed Crimea from Ukraine, a deal is seen as probable.At about the same time, this happens.
President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops near the Ukrainian border back to base, according to the Kremlin, signaling a possible easing of tensions six days before Ukraine’s presidential election.[cross-posted at Firedoglake]