While further sanctions are imposed on Russia by the US and Europe, Russia strikes back by using energy exports and cooperation as leverage.
Even though other events are in the limelight, Russia continues to pursue its strategy. While West is trying to cut off Russia economically, energy giant Gazprom has concluded economically and strategically critical deals with key western companies. In addition to this, Russian-sponsored gas pipelines in the North and South of Europe are not in favor of those who pursue alienation of Russia from the European market.
Major energy cooperation deal was signed during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Russia’s Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell made an agreement to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines to Germany. This agreement reinforces Russia’s presence in the German economy.
This agreement entails many other asset swaps and partnerships in a variety of other projects both in Europe and beyond. This partnership of Gazprom and Shell and its partners will have global impact. Russia will become a critical supplier for the region’s needs of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the following years.
This is not the only major deal in terms of energy in recent months. Gas deal between Russia and China has started to yield positive results beyond the obvious propaganda.
The goal of this project is to place Russia as a major provider of energy both to China and to other East Asian countries. The Altai Pipeline, which will supply 30-38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas from Western Siberia to China, will position Russia as China’s leading economic partner in terms of energy.
Eurasian integration will be driven by the forces of Russia and China. Moreover, economic partnerships often develop into political and strategic ones.
Political and Strategic Partnership
Russia is determined to prevent the US from trying to ruin and break any collaboration between Moscow and its European partners. The US is doing anything they can to separate Russia from political and economic partnerships in Europe.
However, Russia is expanding into Europe by becoming very important partner to Royal Dutch Shell. So Russia is developing economic partnerships as a response to goal of the US to separate Russia from Europe. Cooperation with Russia is more lucrative to Europe than moves against Russia dictated by the US.
Russia continues to expand its economic relations with China in military and defense technology and other areas. Russia is going to sell S-400 missile systems to China.
Russia is obviously ready to continue its economic, political and military partnerships, despite the US attitude and actions against Russia.