Russia's massive oil, & particularly gas exports have always mostly been via pipeline: ice-bound sea ports speak to that. There's some LNG - with liquefaction courtesy of western technology, but pipelines are the big game. So when Europe stops buying, and Putin has only a small outlet direct to China, the income largely stops. And if, as he's been using every opportunity to signal, he's in for the very long haul vs Ukraine, there it rests - and it's gotta hurt, economically - until a big new pipe to China, "Power of Siberia 2", can be built.
And Li'l Volodya was hoping to confirm that deal during this week's Xi visitation. Even then, his exports to China could only reach around half what he's been selling to Europe, by, errrr, 2030. Maybe.
But. In keeping with all the body language showing clearly who's boss in that rather functional and one-sided relationship, Xi wasn't playing. The best announcement Russia felt able to make on PS2 was minimal and pitiful. We know the score. Xi is gonna drive a Very Hard Bargain Indeed, from which Russia won't be getting anything close to half the revenues it once enjoyed from Europe, even if they manage half the volume. Yes, China has brutal form on this one. Nice to know who your best friends are, eh, Vova?
So, living off scraps it'll have to be. We all know Russians can do this, and suffer long. They can't be 'defeated', as such. But it's not much of a strategic argument, is it? You can't defeat me, so you'd just better give me everything I want. Hmmm. Maybe even the new 'multi-polar world order' doesn't work quite like that.