THE RUSSIAN ENERGY STRATEGY & ENERGY POLICY: PIPELINE DIPLOMACY OR MUTUAL DEPENDENCE?

The energy needs of the world are growing fast, and competition for energy is on the rise. Not only hydrocarbon (crude oil and natural gas) resources are at stake, but also the means of electricity production and indeed most other sources of energy. China and India may both need to double their oil requirements in the period up to 2030, while Europe will need to import increasingly more natural gas.1 Even the United States, despite hopeful political speeches on energy independence, will need outside sources of oil and gas, with net energy imports being expected to rise from approximately 27% of total consumption to 38% of consumption in the next twenty years.2 With the Middle East in seemingly permanent turmoil, much of this will have to come from Russia. The outside world has in the 21st century come to regard Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as increasingly important sources of energy for other countries, particularly in the West (here loosely defined as Europe and North America), for reasons of energy security and energy diversification if no more…

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