Return of the Bear? The Extent of Russian Revisionism as Applied to Oil and Gas Machinations
The 2009 Russo-Ukrainian gas skirmish was the most recent example of Gazprom’s oil and natural gas disputes with its neighbors. Over the past several years, Russia has been accused of using Gazprom to further its “neo-imperalist” and “expansionist” foreign policy goals by cutting off energy supply to nations that seem to be orienting toward the West. Careful examination of Gazprom’s actions toward Lithuania, Azerbaijan and Belarus, however, indicate the elimination of foreign subsidies and the normalization of gas prices for all. This trajectory reflects Gazprom’s approach toward deliberations: profits, not politics, dictate how disputes are resolved. This paper argues that ultimately, Russia acts out of economic necessity, not political retribution.