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MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday inaugurated the Kovykta natural gas field in eastern Siberia that will allow Russia to increase its exports to China amid soaring tensions between Moscow and the West.

“We are launching the unique Kovykta gas field, the largest in Eastern Siberia. Its recoverable reserves are 1.8 trillion cubic metres of gas,” Putin said during a televised ceremony, taking part by video-link.

Putin says Russia will fight sanctions with shift in trade and energy flows

He said the launch of the field will “give a serious boost to the socio-economic development” of Russia’s eastern regions. “The Kovykta gas field has been put into service,” said the CEO of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, after Putin gave the green light for the inauguration.

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