Moscow - Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said on Monday a long-awaited deal for natural gas producer Gazprom to supply China with gas was close to completion.

“We hope that the negotiations will be completed as scheduled,” Yanovsky told reporters, a little more than a week before President Vladimir Putin visits China.

“The contract is, I would say, 98 percent ready.”

Gazprom, Russia's top natural gas producer, has been in talks on gas supplies to China for over a decade.

In April, it said it was aiming to finalise the deal this month. - Reuters