Russia

Donald Trump’s China First, Russia Second, America Third foreign policy

Chinese President Xi Jinping at Davos photo World Economic Forum

By letting his foreign policy be governed by a simplistic “America First” principle, Donald Trump is achieving the exact opposite of what he intends. His way of putting America First, is enabling China and Russia to position themselves as the paramount nations on the world stage, writes energy and foreign policy specialist Michael Klare. Courtesy of Tomdispatch. … [Read more...]

Wake-up call: production of Dutch small gas fields headed for collapse

gas production in the Dutch part of the North Sea (photo Wintershall)

Partly as a result of policy neglect, production from small gas fields in the Netherlands has dramatically declined in recent years, a fact that so far seems to have escaped public notice, writes Jilles van den Beukel. Dutch gas is effectively being replaced by Russian gas, he notes. According to Van den Beukel, this is not in the best interest of the Netherlands or of the EU, neither from a financial nor from an environmental point of view. He … [Read more...]

Gazprom plays ball: the depoliticization of the European gas market

Alexei Miller CEO Gazprom photo PortalPE10-slider

Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe and Turkey reached an all-time record in 2016. This might suggest Europe is becoming more dependent on Gazprom, but according to Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute, the Russian company gained market share by playing by the rules of the market. The European gas market is finally becoming depoliticized. … [Read more...]

EU is losing the energy battle with Russia

Putin and Erdogan-slider

Europe’s grand strategy to become less import dependent on Russian gas, which has been discussed since the 1990s, looks more and more like a failure, as the new Russian Tsar, Vladimir Putin, is consistently wrong-footing the leaders of the EU, writes Cyril Widdershoven. … [Read more...]

The Nordic countries on Nord Stream 2: between scepticism and neutrality

First pipes for NS2 delivered 27 October 2016 to German logistics hub Mukran on the island of Rügen

Sweden, Finland and Denmark are unlikely to block or slow down the procedures of issuing national approvals for the construction of Nord Stream 2, write Justyna Gotkowska and Piotr Szymaṅski of OSW, the Centre for Eastern Studies, in Poland. But according to the authors the Nordic countries do expect the European Commission to assess the compliance of Nord Stream 2 with the EU’s Third Energy Package. In addition, Stockholm and Copenhagen in … [Read more...]

Russia keeps expanding oil production despite low oil prices

Rosneft petrol station (photo Rosneft)

Russian federal revenue from oil and natural gas production has declined significantly in response to low oil prices, reports the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, whereas western oil companies have slashed their spending, Russian oil and natural gas companies’ capital investment programs have been less affected, if at all. As a result, Russian oil production has hit a post-Soviet record high. Article courtesy of US EIA. … [Read more...]

Who is afraid of Nord Stream 2?

The operation of the Nord Stream Pipeline system is remotely monitored and controlled from the Control Centre in the Nord Stream headquarters in Zug, Switzerland (photo Nord Stream)

Nord Stream 2, the new gas pipeline that Gazprom is planning to build from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany, has been criticised for reducing Europe’s diversification of energy sources and energy security. But according to Energy Post’s editor in chief Karel Beckman, the EU should welcome the pipeline, despite deteriorating relations with Russia. According to Beckman, Nord Stream 2 has a sound economic rationale behind it and the EU’s … [Read more...]