In the week in which Prince Charles demonstrated that he had inherited his father's gift for diplomacy, Russia and China finally signed a $400bn (£238bn) gas supply deal that had been a decade in the making. The timing couldn't have been better, at least from a Russian perspective. With all the talk centred on the political impasse in Ukraine, and the necessity for Europe to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia, Gazprom promptly turned around and secured a huge new export market at a single stroke.
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