Russia’s Hydrocarbon Exportation Strategy: Control and Diversification

Special Report: Networks and Borders: Geopolitics (II)
By David Teurtrie

Russia, the world’s largest oil and gas exporter, is expecting important geopolitical benefits from the context of high world energy prices. But Moscow has to solve a set of internal and external problems in order to take full advantage of this situation. In the country, the government controls transport networks of energy resources and establishes powerful state oil-and-gas companies to supervise resources and their exploitation. Russia also wants to gain a greater control over infrastructures abroad. To reach this goal, Moscow seems more and more inclined to use the “energy weapon.” Another strategic purpose for Russian authorities is the reduction of over-dependence on transit countries and market diversification outside Europe. The Russian authorities count also on export incomes for transformation of the Russian state and economy. But it will be necessary to overcome contradictions of this global strategy, in particularly the negative economic and ecological consequences of the exploitation and export of oil and gas resources.

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