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Chinese President Hu Jintao, in Russia for a state visit, will meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin later in the day at the headquarters of Russia's state-controlled gas export monopoly Gazprom, as the two try and hammer out a deal.
He is also meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.
Hu has made securing energy for the world's second-biggest economy a diplomatic priority, but relations with Russia in this key area have not been smooth.
The two sides have been bogged down in disagreements on pricing for the gas that the Russian energy giant would pump to China via two routes.
"Energy cooperation is an important constitutive part of relations between China and Russia," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response to a question about the talks.
"We are seeking consensus on the relevant issues through friendly consultations," Hong told a regular news briefing in Beijing.
Gazprom declined to comment on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's remarks.
Negotiators for China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have signalled they will pay no more than $250 per thousand cubic metres, sources at Gazprom said on Wednesday.
Russia's gas export monopoly is still targeting a price that will make deliveries to China as profitable as those to their European clients.
An agreement on the gas project would be a big trophy for Hu, who has courted Russia as a way of increasing energy security as heady economic growth increasingly forces China to look abroad for oil and gas.
"[I] believe that the consensuses reached by both sides during this visit will inject new impetus into the continuing healthy and stable development of the Sino-Russia strategic partnership," Hu said in a statement upon his arrival in Moscow, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
It made no mention of the disagreement over gas.
Under early terms hammered out over five years by Russian and Chinese negotiators, Russia will deliver 30 bcm per year from fields on the Arctic Yamal peninsula, the same fields which supply Europe, via pipeline through the Altai region to northern China.
China would also like to contract an additional 38 bcm from yet untapped fields in East Siberia.
In recent talks in Moscow, Chinese negotiators won Russian consent for an eastern pipeline route from those fields in addition to the Altai route long favoured by Gazprom.
As talks have dragged on between Russia and China, however, China has increased its purchases of gas from Russia's rivals in Central Asia, the former Soviet Union states of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
EurActiv with Reuters