UPSC PRELIMS 2020: Power of Siberia

Power of Siberia

Topic: Power of Siberia

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

Power of Siberia


The Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on remotely inaugurated the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline.

About the “Power of Siberia”

  •  A massive cross-border undertaking not only central to China’s energy security but also for bolstering special ties between Beijing and Moscow
  • The 30-year project is anchored by a $400 billion gas deal.
  • Moscow will supply around 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, but the volume will gradually rise to 38 billion cubic meters per year. 


  • From Siberia to China’s Yangtze River delta in Shanghai, the massive pipeline will cover 8,000 km, with 5,111 km inside China, passing through nine provinces and municipalities.
  • Gas is being sourced from Chayandinskoye and Kovykta fields in eastern Siberia and is then piped to Blagoveshchensk — the last town on the Russian side of the border.
  •  From there, it is tunneled under the Amur River, before entering Heihe on the Chinese side.

Importance of the “Power of Siberia”

  • Till now Russia has been a primary gas supplier to Europe
  • The Power of Siberia is the first cross-border gas pipeline between Russia and China.
  • Amid sanctions from the west, it will add a prominent eastern dimension to Moscow’s energy blueprint. 

India’ traditional advantage over China

  • From a geopolitical standpoint, India had certain advantages over Europe and China as an energy partner for Russia. 
  • New Delhi, unlike many European countries, has no political objections to Russian entities buying shares in their oil companies. 
  • While China has a warm relationship with Russia, it carries more long-term geopolitical risks than India does.
  • India’s good political relationship and Russia want to cement that with a good economic relationship.

 Strategy to counter the Russia-Chinese closeness.

  • Moscow and New Delhi adopted a five-year road map to establish a “Far Eastern Energy Corridor” that would boost Russian oil, gas and coal exports to India.
  • Indian to expand investments in Russian oil refining projects, amid political tension in the Middle East that is affecting energy supplies.
  • Indian companies have invested more than $10 billion in major Russian oil projects.

At the Eastern economic forum, china has not shown a keen interest in the far east. India, on the other hand, can leverage the long-lasting friendship in exploring new resources to fuel its economy at the same time maintain the balancing act.

Sample Question:

The main area of production of icebergs is found in?
A) the West Coast of Greenland

B) the West Coast of Africa
C) the North Coast of Siberia
D) the East Coast of Japan

Ans: A