U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia are having the unintended consequence of helping the nation form closer bonds with China, according to Patrick de la Chevardière, the chief financial officer of oil major Total.
Since the annexation of Crimea back in March, and Moscow's alleged backing of pro-Russian rebels in the east of Ukraine, the West has moved to stifle lending to the country with a series of penalties. These sanctions have changed the global landscape for the energy sector, Chevardière said.
"Russia and China are close together… As far as what I can see today, this is the result of what is currently happening," he told CNBC on Tuesday.
"It's already changed the Russian position towards China; they are opening the door to China in their industry. They are selling gas and oil to China which was not the case three years ago."