Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said on Friday that an oil supply dispute between Moscow and Beijng could be solved out of court.
A source close to the situation has said China's CNPC had underpaid $40.5 billion to Russia's Transneft oil pipeline monopoly. Russia's top crude producer Rosneft has also complained it had not received enough money from China because of differences over tariffs. The companies said they were ready to go to court.
"I see no problems that cannot be solved. The companies have a right to file a suit but I think they should agree on the market, not all opportunities have been exhausted," Sechin, who is in charge of energy, told reporters.
Transneft and Rosneft borrowed $25 billion from China in 2009 to finish building Russia's first pipeline link to China as part of a broader deal to supply Beijing with 300 million tons of crude over 20 years.