Химера газовой мощи России

Россия начала 2006 год с прекращения экспорта природного газа на Украину после того, как правительство последней отказалось платить возросшую в четыре раза новую цену за газ. Кризис на Украине, многие из промышленных предприятий советской эпохи которой зависят от дешевого российского газа, вскоре распространился на Европу, потребляющую 80% газового экспорта России, когда Украина начала отводить газ из трубопровода, проходящего по ее территории.

По иронии судьбы 2006 год также является годом, когда к России переходит председательство в Большой Восьмерке - группе восьми промышленных стран, встреча которой состоится в Москве весной этого года. Невероятной темой, выбранной президентом России Владимиром Путиным для этой конференции, является энергетическая безопасность.

Хотя Россия больше не является мировой супердержавой, ее огромные нефтяные и газовые ресурсы делают Россию энергетической супердержавой, и Путин, похоже, намеревается разыграть эту карту. Нефть предоставляет меньше экономической власти, чем газ, поскольку является заменимым товаром, перебои в поставках которого можно компенсировать закупками на мировых рынках. Но транспортировка газа обходится дорого, поскольку зависит от дорогостоящих трубопроводов и установок для сжижения газа, которые невозможно заменить в короткие сроки, если возникает перебой в поставке.

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