In the 1990s, the situation at home and abroad was extremely complex. At that time, although the number of Chinese navy vessels ranked the top in the world, they were basically not enough. There were only two 052 destroyers in service. The overall level was quite different from that of Japan, Korea and other neighboring countries. At that time, the new generation of 052B/C and 054 were still on the drawing. The problem of gas turbines was still not known how to solve. In the short term, they could not meet the requirements of military struggle preparation. Only through importation could the urgent need be solved.
At the same time, Russia is suffering from the economic crisis, in exchange for dollars, almost all but nuclear submarines can be sold. In 1993, the Russian Pacific Fleet 1155 fearless Admiral Pandelev, the 956 Modern Fast and the oil tanker Bitchka visited Qingdao. The Chinese Navy had a very intuitive understanding of the two main ships with different styles. After repeated comparisons, the Navy considered 956 more appropriate. In 1994, China began to discuss with Russia the possibility of introducing 956.
The 1996 crisis accelerated the process of introducing 956 destroyers into the navy. In August 1997, Russian media released news that China and Russia had signed a warship procurement contract worth US$800 million. China decided to purchase two 956E warships and related weapon systems (including shipborne helicopters).
The US$800 million is not a small figure, but the Chinese Navy is not short of that money. The funds are in place in a timely manner, but the Russian are in urgent need. How to deliver the ship on time is a big problem. For this reason, the Russians also thought of the usual trick -- "tear down the east wall to make up for the West wall".
At that time, the Russian navy was almost out of wages, and the two 956 Yekaterinburg and Alexander Nevsky ships ordered from the northern shipyard were still rotten at the shipyard and did not know how to end. As a result, Russia's arms export department, through internal coordination, sold the two new main ships directly to the Chinese Navy, which could also reduce the construction time by two years. In November 1997, the arms export department signed a contract with the Northern Shipyard to resell the two vessels to China.