(EnergyAsia, February 26, Thursday) — Russia’s cash-strapped government is considering abolishing export duties for crude oil sales to Asia.

 Energy minister Sergei Shmat has submitted a proposal calling for the scrapping of the duties as Russia prepares to step up trade ties with Asia’s top three energy consumers, China, Japan and South Korea.

 In recent weeks, Russia has announced new deals with all three countries including a $25 billion loan from China in exchange for a long-term crude oil supply deal.

China is lending the money to Russian oil giant Rosneft and pipeline firm Transneft in exchange for the supply of 300,000 b/d crude oil over 20 years. Rosneft needs the money to refinance its debt load while Trasneft is raising funds to build a 600,000-b/d oil pipeline from East Siberia to Asia.