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Flag of Russia
  1. Russia Main Page
  2. The Bolshevik Revolution
  3. Emergence of the USSR
  4. The Berlin Blockade and the Cold War
  5. Dissolution of the USSR
  6. Financial Crisis and Political Upheaval
  7. Putin's Rise to Power
  8. Attempts at Chechen Independence Fail
  9. A Shocking Hostage Situation, a Move Towards Climate Change, and Radiation Poison
  10. Crumbling Relations with the United States and Conflict with Georgia
  11. String of Suicide Bombs Sparks Fear of a Crackdown by Putin
  12. Protests and Unrest Surrounds the 2012 Presidential Election
  13. Russia Blocks U.N. Action in Syria
  14. New Laws Passed against Political Activists, Pussy Riot Arrested
  15. Russia enters the World Trade Organization, Won't Renew Weapons Pact with United States
  16. American Fugitive Seeks Asylum in Russia
  17. Russia Assists with Chemical Weapons Investigation in Syria
  18. International Protests and Multiple Bombings Threaten 2014 Olympics
  19. Russia Annexes Crimea, Experiences Economic Fallout Due to Sanctions
  20. Putin Signs Gas Accord with China, Begins Eurasian Union as Ukraine Fallout Continues
Putin Signs Gas Accord with China, Begins Eurasian Union as Ukraine Fallout Continues

After a decade of discussion, Russia's Gazprom signed a deal to sell natural gas to China's National Petroleum Corporation in May 2014. The deal was a $400 billion, 30-year supply contract for 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The supply would start in 2018. The fuel would come from a new pipeline in eastern Siberia.

By 2014, China consumed about 4% of the world's gas, but about half of the world's iron ore, coal, and copper. However, China was on its way to being the world's biggest gas user by 2035. The deal was finalized during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Shanghai.

Putin also launched an all new Eurasian Union by the end of May 2014. Kazakhstan and Belarus joined Russia in the new economic alliance that hoped to one day rival the European Union. With a combined $2.7 trillion gross domestic product between the three countries, the union has promise. However, the fallout from recent events in Ukraine, which had been expected to be a part of the new bloc, could hurt the union and prevent it from growing to the same level as the European Union.

As the fighting and chaos escalated in eastern Ukraine and the U.S. and Europe threatened additional sanctions, on May 7, Putin announced the withdrawal of the 40,000 troops from the border with Ukraine, urged separatists to abandon plans for a referendum on autonomy, and said Russia would participate in negotiations to end the crisis. "I simply believe that if we want to find a long-term solution to the crisis in Ukraine, open, honest, and equal dialogue is the only possible option," Putin said. Both the U.S. and European officials responded with a heavy dose of skepticism that Putin would follow through.

In July 2014, President Obama announced new sanctions against Russia due to increased tension between forces in Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists along the Ukrainian border. These latest round of sanctions were the most punitive yet against Russia and targeted large defense and energy firms and banks. Before now, only Russian individuals and the businesses directly related to the destabilization in Ukraine had been sanctioned.

A day after the new sanctions were imposed, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, killing all 298 passengers and crew members. The crash occurred in territory where pro-Russian separatists have been battling Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian President Poroshenko said the crash was an act of terror. Ukrainian and American officials said the plane was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile, citing satellite images. Poroshenko accused the separatists of launching the missile, which they denied. Russian president Putin also denied having any role in the disaster. A day after the crash, President Obama said he believed that the rebels shot down the plane. He called the crash a "global tragedy" and faulted Putin for continuing to arm the rebels and for not stopping the fighting. Most analysts said rebels may have thought they were targeting a military transport plane rather than a commercial jet.


See also Encyclopedia: Russia .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Russia
State Committee of the Russian Federation on Statistics: www.gks.ru/eng/ .
See also Russian History Timeline .
See Chechnya Timeline .

Information Please® Database, © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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