MOSCOW: Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday failed to secure major concrete promises of more oil from Russia to fuel his booming economy.
Hu's visit to Moscow had been billed by commentators as a mission to agree access to more crude oil and gas, but as expected Russia held off making promises of increased volumes, signing only an agreement to study the possibility.
Russia, the world's second-biggest oil exporter, and China, the world's fastest-growing major economy with a huge appetite for crude oil, said they wanted to build on their "strategic partnership".
The giant neighbours issued an eight-page joint declaration that made no mention of energy.
"No pipeline, no access to reserves, no return on the $6 billion investment - the Chinese have signed only face-saving things and are just shaking hands and going home," Steven O'Sullivan, head of research at Moscow investment bank United Financial Group, told Reuters.
the meeting, Russian state oil firm Rosneft signed co-operation deals with Chinese oil firm CNPC and Asia's biggest refiner Sinopec.
Interfax news agency reported Rosneft planned to increase annual deliveries to China to nine million tonnes in 2006 from 4m tonnes in 2005. The countries praised their improved relations in recent years and said their joint declaration was important for future ties.
"This declaration has great importance in deepening the strategic cooperation between our two countries," Hu said.