Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has triggered sweeping sanctions on Russian energy exports. While China has largely complied with the substance of Western sanctions, it nevertheless continues to purchase crude oil, coal, and natural gas from its northern neighbor. With Western countries considering how to impose stricter sanctions on Russian energy exports in the months ahead, how might Beijing respond? 

Russia has become China’s top crude oil provider, yet energy ties are complex, as Beijing’s state-owned energy companies have also reportedly suspended petrochemical and LNG projects in Russia. Will energy ties between the two autocracies continue to expand, or might Beijing edge away from Moscow out of its own economic self-interest? 

A conversation with

Erica Downs

Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy

Columbia University SIPA

Edward C. Chow

Senior Associate, Energy Security and Climate Change Program

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Amy Myers Jaffe

Research Professor and Managing Director, Climate Policy Lab

The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Brian O’Toole

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Statecraft Initiative, GeoEconomics Center

The Atlantic Council

Moderated by

Amb. John E. Herbst

Senior Director, Eurasia Center

Atlantic Council