Russia’s New Energy Alliances: Mythology versus Reality Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 86, July 2015
This brief paper analyzes the energy relations between Russia and its “new” energy partnerships – with China and Turkey – that the Kremlin tends to publicly promote as an alternative to energy relations with the West.
The past 12 to 15 months have been marked by intensive negotiations, summits, and memorandums of understanding between Russia and these “new” partners. However, the progress is insufficient to merit talk about relationships of a truly global scale, and the many problematic issues indicate that these partnerships are working to only a limited extent. An examination of the Sino-Russian and Turkish-Russian partnerships shows that neither of these new strategic partners is ready to engage in Russia’s globally oriented energy games – instead they want to pursue their own pragmatic energy interests. The Russian attempts to instigate tectonic shifts in the energy markets through partnerships has failed, and both the “Power of Siberia” and “Turkish Stream” projects are rapidly turning into very localized bilateral stories, which are not truly significant in the context of a broader market picture.
Vladimir Milov is a Russian politician, publicist, economist and energy expert. He is a former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia (2002), adviser to the Minister of Energy (2001–2002), and head of the strategy department at the Federal Energy Commission, the natural monopoly regulator (1999–2001), and founder and president of the Institute of Energy Policy, a leading independent Russian energy policy think tank (since 2003).