Tags: Russian | Gas | Drives | U.S. | Policy

Russian Gas Drives U.S. Policy

Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM

Few Americans have even the foggiest idea of what a Russian company called Gazprom is, yet it plays an enormous potential role in all Americans' everyday lives.

If that sounds like a bit of a stretch, consider these sobering realities that are receiving precious little prominence in the American establishment press but are blockbuster news in the media overseas:

So what has all that to do with California energy problems and the possibility of those metastasizing into a nationwide energy crisis in the United States?

Russia is now clearly staking its economic future on the sale of its immense gas reserves to energy-hungry consuming nations, beginning in Eastern and Western Europe.

As foreign-policy analysts Tatyana Koshkaryova and Rustam Narzikulov, writing Tuesday in the Russian publication Gazeta, put it:

"It is a widely shared opinion that Russia's prosperity depends on high world oil prices.

"What geopolitical methods should be used to keep [those] prices high?

"The first answer that comes to mind is that Russia should agitate political instability in the world's major oil-producing regions – the Middle East.

"The country could aim, through geopolitical instruments, to constantly create a deficit of some type of raw material [oil] on international markets."

That translates into higher prices for foreign oil going to California and the rest of the United States.

A revitalized Gazprom with Putin playing the puppeteer has the capability of being just such a Russian geopolitical instrument.

That is the Vladimir Putin whom George W. Bush will be facing when the two meet for the first time at their summit June 16 in Slovenia.

Geopolitics of worldwide trade in oil will be the dominating, unwritten agenda regardless of what political parachute California's governor may be packing for himself.

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Few Americans have even the foggiest idea of what a Russian company called Gazprom is, yet it plays an enormous potential role in all Americans' everyday lives. If that sounds like a bit of a stretch, consider these sobering realities that are receiving precious little...
Russian,Gas,Drives,U.S.,Policy
288
2001-00-31
Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM
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