Night Watch

China-Russia: At the 10 April Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference, a reporter asked,

"The Russian side said the other day that it would sign a natural gas agreement with the Chinese side. What is the Chinese side's response to that? Will the two sides sign the agreement?"

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Vladimirovich Dvorkovich held a meeting as co-chairs of the China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee in Beijing on 9 April. They had an in-depth exchange of views on China-Russia energy cooperation and reached a new consensus on cooperation."

"Chinese and Russian companies are now actively engaged in negotiations about the eastern natural gas pipeline project. We hope that the two sides will step up negotiations, reach a consensus on the basic gas price as soon as possible, and sign a purchase and sale contract on natural gas delivered through the eastern pipeline at an early date."

Comment: The US will find little support from China for sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. China needs the natural gas.

Russia-US: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone on 9 April. They said they agreed on the need to resolve the security situation in eastern Ukraine peacefully and on the need to include authorities in Kiev/Kyiv.

Comment: The two men are speaking the same words, but meaning very different things. For Russia, a peaceful outcome means that Kiev agrees to a federalized Ukrainian state that recognizes Russian as a second national language.

For the US, a peaceful outcome apparently means that Moscow agrees to refrain from interfering in Ukraine, returns its forces to peacetime readiness and bases and allows Ukraine to decide its form of state structure and whether to become pro-Western.

Travel advisory. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted to the web a recommendation for the citizens of Russia to avoid travelling to countries which have extradition treaties with the United States.

"Russian nationals who "suspect" that American law-enforcement bodies may ask questions of them 'are strongly advised to refrain from travelling abroad, in particular to countries that have extradition treaties with the USA,' a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry website on 10 April said."

"It said that the USA was "hunting" Russian nationals in third countries 'with a view to subsequently have them extradited and convicted in the USA, as a rule on questionable charges.'"

Night Watch

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