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Page added on February 27, 2009

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Analysis: oil, gas deals give Russia long-term win

MOSCOW


Russia launched its first liquefied natural gas plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, the first facility of its kind for shipping Russian gas abroad. And in Beijing, Russian and Chinese officials signed a major long-term oil contract and pipeline deal.


The result?


In a stroke, Russia locked in two huge markets as energy customers, shipping natural gas for Japan and even more oil for China. East Asia’s two largest economies became even more dependent on Russian resources. Russia’s oil-driven economy got some long-term certainty. A Russian-led effort to create an OPEC-style gas cartel got a little boost.


And Europe was put on notice that if they don’t like how Russian energy is supplied to the continent, Moscow now has even more customers to turn to.


It’s a sign that, economic crunch notwithstanding, the Kremlin is playing for the long haul.


AP



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