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Oil Politics Trans Siberian Pipeline Essay

853 words - 4 pages

Trans –Siberian Pipeline:

The Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline (also known as the West-Siberian Pipeline, or Trans-Siberian Pipeline) is one of Russia's main natural gas export pipelines, partially owned and operated by Ukraine. The pipeline was constructed in 1982-1984. It created the transcontinental gas transportation system Western Siberia-Western Europe.
Controversies surrounding the pipeline
The erstwhile Soviet’s plans to build the pipeline were considered a threat to the balance of energy trade in Europe, and were strongly opposed by the Reagan administration. The United States prevented U.S. companies from selling supplies to the Soviets for the pipeline, as part of what was ...view middle of the document...

A number of issues that keep emerging as a result of this dispute are:
whether Ukraine is using the supplies for its domestic consumption? Are Ukraine's actions being orchestrated by the United States?
Whether Russia is exerting pressure on Ukrainian politicians or attempting to subvert EU and NATO expansions to include Ukraine?
A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting it intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation, but later Naftogaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on January 1, 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory. On January 4, 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky: A victim of Oil Politics?
In 2004, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the wealthiest man in Russia and one of the richest people in the world, ranked 16th on Forbes list of billionaire.
Khodorkovsky had worked his way up the Communist apparatus during the Soviet years, and began several businesses during the era of glasnost and perestroika. After the dissolution of the...

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