Sergei Blagov

Prior to working as Moscow-based independent researcher and journalist, Dr. Sergei Blagov was a newswire reporter. He spent nearly seven years reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam, between 1983 and 1997.

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Articles by Sergei Blagov

Russia Seeks Closer Energy Partnership with China

On February 25, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich traveled to China to attend a first meeting of the bilateral intergovernmental commission on energy cooperation. The commission was formed in

Russia Seeks Stronger Security Ties with China

Russia has repeatedly pledged to boost strategic security cooperation with China. In the past, both sides preferred only to make verbal statements on the matter. But now Moscow and Beijing

CIS Nations Eye Free Trade Zone in 2013

The latest top-level meeting of the oldest post-Soviet grouping, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), pledged to enact their free trade arrangements next year. However, the CIS free trade zone

Russia’s Far East Moves Toward Hosting APEC Summit

Russia’s Primorie region in the country’s Far East moved to finalize the construction of high-profile projects, designed to prepare for the upcoming APEC summit meeting next month in Vladivostok. However,

Russia Seeks Lesser Dependence on Oil Prices

Russia pledged to limit its over-reliance on crude oil prices. However, the economic model of Russia’s oil and gas sector still seems destined to remain largely export-oriented, including the government’s

CIS, CSTO Eye Increased Cooperation Despite Divisions

The latest top-level meetings of post-Soviet regional groupings, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), pledged to intensify joint efforts to counter security and

Russia Seeks Increased Trade with China

Russia has repeatedly pledged to expand trade with China, the Kremlin apparently continuing to view the commercial ties as an important indicator of what was officially described as a “bilateral

Russia Struggles to Sustain Ties with Kyrgyzstan

As the Kremlin was preoccupied with the presidential transition, relations between Russia and its Central Asian ally Kyrgyzstan unexpectedly became shaky. When Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev traveled to Russia last

Russian Gas Export Plans Face Reality Check

Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom has repeatedly pledged to increase natural gas production and exports. However, the gas giant appears to face an uncertain export future as its credibility in

CSTO Faces Continued Divisions

Despite continued pledges to counter security challenges in Central Asia, the Russian-led security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), appears to face constant disagreements between member nations. The CSTO,

Caspian Legal Settlement Remains Elusive

The Caspian nations have reiterated earlier promises to seek a consensus-based settlement, but they apparently failed to resolve their differences. As a result, the Caspian summit previously scheduled in Moscow,

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Considers Expansion

The heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have reiterated earlier promises to enlarge the grouping. Thus, the organization (currently including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan)

Moscow Considers North Korean Debt Write-Off

As Moscow reiterated its promises to write-off much of Pyongyang’s Soviet-era debt, Russia once again tried to offer Kim Jong-Il some economic carrots in an apparent bid to play a

Post-Soviet Groupings Face Security Challenges

The latest summit meeting of the major post-Soviet grouping pledged to intensify efforts to counter security challenges. However, this and other top-level gatherings of former Soviet states highlight increasing disagreements

Russia Considers Continued Privatization

The Russian government plans to privatize a number of its state-owned companies, focusing on the energy and commodity sectors. However, the cabinet faces a challenging task to prove that the

Russia Seeks Refinery Sector Modernization

The Russian authorities have repeatedly pledged to modernize the country’s oil sector, including its refinery facilities. However, many Russian oil companies appear reluctant to increase investment in the modernization of

Moscow Sets Out Ambitious Asian Policy Goals

The Russian government has reiterated its pledges to spend billions of rubles in government funding to speed up the development of the country’s Far East in a bid to create

The CSTO Seeks Stronger Security Arrangements

The Russian-led security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, has pledged to face security challenges in Central Asia by

Russia Seeks to Sustain its Crude Oil Output

Moscow has pledged to sustain its crude oil production at high levels and increase exports. However, the economic model of the Russian oil sector still seems to remain largely export-oriented,

Moscow Aims for Caspian Settlement in 2011

The Caspian littoral states have pledged to resolve their differences in 2011, but they still appear to remain divided on a variety of sensitive issues. Caspian summits will become an

Russia Considers Increased Gas Production

Moscow has reiterated its pledges to develop the Russian natural gas sector and significantly increase domestic production and exports. However, it remains to be seen whether Russia will be able

China Secures Trade Surplus With Russia

Russia has sought to expand its trade with China in an apparent bid to prop up what was officially denoted as the strategic partnership between the two nations. Meanwhile, as

Russia Plans Increased Energy Exports

Senior Russian officials have made clear that the country’s energy policies will continue to evolve around the nexus of ambitious export plans. The government pledged to make the country’s gas

Moscow Ponders BP’s Assets

Russian authorities have voiced their support for the country’s state-run energy giants in their possible bids to take over BP’s holdings in Russia. The maneuverings came as yet another sign

Russia Boosts Far Eastern Security

As Russia remains keen to protect its eastern frontiers, the country’s Far East Military District (MD) hosted major war-games. The drill was also aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the

Russia Plans Far Eastern Energy Drive

Russian officials have reiterated pledges to pursue pro-active Far Eastern energy policies, backed by sizable investments. Moscow would invest up to $100 billion to develop new natural gas deposits in

Russia, CSTO, SCO Struggle to Settle Kyrgyz Unrest

The Russian authorities, Russian-led security grouping, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) made repeated pledges to tackle the Kyrgyz crisis. However, agreement on any

Russia Struggles to Settle Kyrgyz Unrest

As Russia hosted the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Commonwealth (EEC) meetings of heads of governments, the gathering appeared to be overshadowed by the continued instability

Russia Pursues Post-Soviet Integration

In yet another bid to strengthen cooperation with the “near abroad,” Moscow has hosted informal summit meetings of the major post-Soviet groupings. However, the gatherings also served to highlight continued

Russia Moves to Strengthen Ties with Uzbekistan

As the Kremlin intensified its efforts to develop relations with Uzbekistan, the leadership of the most populous nation in Central Asia appears to remain non-committal. Following talks in Moscow, Russian

Russia’s Energy Development Drive Slows Down

Against the background of difficult international energy market conditions Russian companies have become less interested in finding new oil and gas fields and developing existing deposits. Notably, the country’s gas

Russia Secures Trade Surplus With China

Russia has repeatedly pledged to expand its trade with China, as the Kremlin appeared to view these commercial ties as an important indicator of what was officially described as the

Russia Seeks to Sustain its Energy Security

Moscow has reiterated pledges to improve Russian energy security by promising sizable investments to develop its hydrocarbon sector and power supply networks. However, the economic viability of such solutions appears

Russia and China Clinch Gas Supply Deal

Moscow and Beijing claim that their long-awaited gas supply deal is proof of what they describe as their bilateral strategic partnership, but the Russian and Chinese state-controlled energy giants apparently

Russia and Kazakhstan Pursue Energy Partnership

Russia and Kazakhstan's leadership have reiterated pledges to boost their bilateral economic and energy partnership. However, they remain divided over some divergent interests, notably in gas processing and oil transit.

Gazprom Seeks Far Eastern Gas Riches

The state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom has moved to control natural gas resources in Russia's vast eastern regions by taking over new gas deposits and building new gas pipelines. In

Russia Seeks to Boost Ties with Tajikistan

Russian officials have reiterated their continued interest in deepening bilateral cooperation with Tajikistan, while the authorities in Dushanbe appeared to remain hesitant on some issues. On July 31 the Russian

Gazprom’s Investment Strategy Runs out of Steam

Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom has cut its investment program in response to the difficulties it faces in the current economic downturn. These cost-saving measures contrasted sharply with Gazprom's pledge

Russia Seeks Stronger Ties with the Arab World

The Russian government has pledged to revive its economic ties with Arab nations. However, Moscow's relations with the Arab world now hardly sound reminiscent of the Soviet-era alliance, as the

Russia Struggles to Sustain Alliance with Belarus

Russia's relationship with its former closest ally, Belarus, has reached a new low point following a bitter dispute. Moscow has apparently struggled to remain on good terms with Belarusian President

Russia Promotes Joint Ventures with Mongolia

The Kremlin has reiterated its pledges to implement sizable infrastructure development projects in Mongolia in an attempt to boost bilateral economic ties. On ?May 13, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir

Russia and Japan Agree to Nuclear Fuel Deal

Despite optimistic official pronouncements, Russia appears to be struggling to secure any significant economic commitments from Tokyo to develop energy projects including the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline. Meanwhile,

Russia Eyes Iraqi Energy Sector

As Russia recently pledged to develop ties with Iraq, the Kremlin voiced hopes to secure a larger role in Iraqi energy sector. Following the April 10 meetings in Moscow between

Russia Resumes Electricity Exports to China

Russia's electricity suppliers have moved to resume exports from the country's Far East to China amid declining domestic demand. Russia's energy executives have announced that the region's major electricity exporter,

Russia’s New Energy Doctrine

The Kremlin articulated some details of its new assertive energy strategy, following the inauguration of a major energy project on the Pacific island of Sakhalin and a significant energy deal

Russia Pledges to Rescue Post-Soviet Economies

Russia has pledged to finance a rescue fund to bail out its allies within the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC), as those former Soviet states now face an increasingly adverse economic

Moscow Eyes Stronger Partnership with Tashkent

Despite some recent setbacks, the Kremlin has intensified efforts to expand its relations with Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation. Following talks in Tashkent, Uzbek President Islom Karimov praised the

The Kremlin Defends Its Energy Interests

Russia moved to support the 2 million barrel a day cut in oil production by OPEC by reducing its own oil exports. The country's oil companies and energy projects appear,

Russia’s Gazprom Eyes Governmental Support

Russia's Gazprom Eyes Governmental Support Despite the current economic climate, the state-run gas monopoly Gazprom has pledged to move ahead with its ambitious development program, but it now appears that

RUSSIA, CHINA ESTABLISH STRONGER ECONOMIC TIES

Leaders of Russia and China hailed what they described as a bilateral strategic partnership, while the countries’ state-run energy giants are struggling to work out a compromise on energy prices.

MOSCOW PLEDGES PROACTIVE KOREAN POLICY

Russia and South Korea pledged to upgrade their relationship to a strategic partnership and to strengthen energy ties, but the latest spate of optimistic official pronouncements came as a reminder

RUSSIA EYES “TRANSIT SUPERPOWER” STATUS

Despite continuing disagreements with the West, Russia's top officials have pledged to turn the Eurasian nation into a "transit superpower" to link Europe and Asia by developing transcontinental railways and

RUSSIA PURSUES ENERGY PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINA

The Kremlin has dispatched Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to China in order to boost bilateral energy ties. Sechin reportedly reassured Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that Russia was ready to

ROSNEFT SEEKS STRONGER CHINESE CONNECTION

Russia's state-run oil company Rosneft pledged to move ahead with its plans to invest in China. The company conceded, however, that it had struggled to reach an agreement with the

THE KREMLIN PROMOTES EASTERN PIPELINE PROJECT

The Kremlin is giving its strong support to the construction of the Eastern Siberia Pacific Oil Pipeline (ESPO), apparently viewing it as an important economic and foreign policy tool. The

RUSSIA’S ROSNEFT CLAIMS MARKET LEADERSHIP

Russia's state-run oil company Rosneft pledged to maintain its self-proclaimed role of market leader. It now appears that the company's acquisition-based model of expansion will be put to the test.

RUSSIA MULLS STRONGER PARTNERSHIP WITH UZBEKISTAN

The Kremlin has moved to strengthen ties with Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation, through the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) as well as major energy projects. CSTO Secretary

RUSSIA STRUGGLES TO ENCOURAGE JAPANESE INVESTMENTS

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has made his first trip to Russia since his election last September. Despite optimistic official pronouncements, Russia appears to be struggling to secure any significant

MOSCOW SEEKS TO ENGAGE MONGOLIA ECONOMICALLY

Moscow has renewed efforts to prop up economic ties with its closest Cold War era ally, Mongolia. The two neighboring nations appear, however, to remain divided by a variety of

RUSSIA FACES DELAYS IN FAR EASTERN PIPELINE

The Kremlin apparently viewed the Eastern Siberia Pacific Oil Pipeline (ESPO) as a major vehicle to promote faster growth of Russia's Far Eastern regions. However, the major energy project appears

GAZPROM EXPANDS STATE GRIP ON ENERGY ASSETS

As Russia's gas giant Gazprom moved closer to acquisition of the giant Kovykta gas field in Eastern Siberia's Irkutsk region, the deal was seen as yet another sign of the

RUSSIA’S GAZPROMNEFT PLANS CRUDE OUTPUT HIKE

Russia's state-run oil firm, GazpromNeft, has disclosed ambitious plans to hike its oil production level, which would require taking over new assets. In its drive toward becoming the country's leading

INVESTORS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON NEW SEVSIB RAILWAY

Russian officials have disclosed plans for yet another ambitious railway scheme, the North Siberian Railway or SevSib, apparently patterned after the Trans-Siberian Railway (TransSib). But the announcement provided yet another

RUSSIA’S ROSNEFT EYES EAST SIBERIAN EXPANSION

Rosneft, Russia's state-run petroleum firm, has promised multi-billion dollar investments to increase its crude oil production in Eastern Siberia. However, the economic viability of Rosneft's plan remains a matter of

MEDVEDEV EYES FAR EASTERN REVIVAL

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's leading presidential candidate, believes the social and economic problems of the Russian Far East can be solved eventually, as the government currently has sufficient financial resources. Touring

RUSSIA’S FAR EASTERN WORKERS WARY OF CHINESE MIGRANTS

The Russian government has urged accelerated development of the country's Far East and pledged sizable investments for regions bordering China and the Pacific. However, some executives of Russia's state-controlled enterprises

MOSCOW CONCEDES NEED FOR MAJOR TRANSIT INVESTMENT

At the State Council's November 13 meeting in Krasnoyarsk, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that transportation infrastructure is strategically important for the country's economic growth. He conceded that the bulk

RUSSIA STRUGGLES TO SUSTAIN PARTNERSHIP WITH INDIA

During Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s November 11-12 visit to Moscow, Russia and India signed agreements on space cooperation -- including a possible joint lunar program -- rupee debt investment,

YUSHCHENKO WANTS TRANSPARENT ENERGY DEALS WITH MOSCOW

Russia’s top officials are loudly complaining about Kyiv’s tactics in a bitter dispute over Ukraine’s Kremenchug refinery, pledging to defend the interests of the Russian shareholders there. The incident is

ROSNEFT SKEPTICAL ABOUT VIABILITY OF SAKHALIN-5

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his advisors to draft a detailed plan to develop Sakhalin Island’s infrastructure in the wake of a major earthquake there earlier this year. The

MOSCOW CONSIDERS ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES AGAINST CHINA

Moscow is facing an increasing deficit in bilateral trade with China. Russian industries have found themselves hard-pressed by Chinese competition, and business leaders are calling for the introduction of anti-dumping

RUSSIA TIGHTENS CONTROL OVER SAKHALIN-1 OUTPUT

On August 2, during a meeting of a special government commission, the Russian government formally notified Sakhalin-1 consortium stakeholders that they should prioritize the domestic delivery of all natural gas

RUSSIA’S GAS PIPELINE NETWORK FACES REALITY CHECK

In recent weeks Russia has announced a number of high-profile export-oriented gas pipeline projects, notably the Europe-bound Nord Stream and South Stream, the China-bound Altai route, and the Caspian pipeline

TNK-BP KEEPS KOVYKTA LICENSE, FOR NOW

Throughout this year, Russian regulators have targeted the Kovykta gas development project, officially for failing to fulfill production quotas. However, the regulatory pressure was understood to be aimed at putting

CSTO SEEKS WAYS TO BETTER SECURE CENTRAL ASIA

General Nikolai Bordyuzha, general secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), visited Bishkek May 21-23 to discuss CSTO plans for the second half of this year and the first

ROSNEFT WINS KEY YUKOS ASSETS IN EASTERN SIBERIA

Russia’s state-run Rosneft energy company has snagged key Yukos assets in Siberia, enabling the company to overtake the privately owned Lukoil in terms of oil production capacity and become Russia's

RUSSIA AND KAZAKHSTAN PURSUE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP

During a visit to Kazakhstan on March 30, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Kazakh officials signed a protocol to keep Kazakh crude oil shipments flowing via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline

KREMLIN MOVES TO REPAIR DAMAGED INTERNATIONAL IMAGE

Russian officials have strongly endorsed efforts to improve the country's tarnished international reputation. On February 21, Oleg Morozov, first deputy speaker of the State Duma, declared, "A negative image of

GAZPROM DETERMINED TO CONTROL MAJOR SHELF PROJECTS

On Thursday, January 25, Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev urged the government to make it tougher for foreign investors to access the mineral resources of the Russian continental shelf.

RUSSIA MULLS NORTH KOREAN DEBT WRITE-OFF

As Moscow hinted at plans to forgive Pyongyang much of its Soviet-era debt, Russia's willingness to offer Kim Jong-Il some economic carrots may indicate the Kremlin's intention to play a

RUSSIA’S SAKHALIN-2 PROJECT REMAINS UNDER PRESSURE

Russian officials have made little secret of their unhappiness over the terms of existing production sharing agreements, notably Sakhalin-2. Russia refuses to foot the Sakhalin-2 cost overruns, according to Russian

MONGOL PRESIDENT PAYS UNEVENTFUL VISIT TO MOSCOW

While visiting Russia from December 4 to December 10, Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar reiterated pledges to strengthen economic ties with Moscow. However, similar official pronouncements in the past have so

RUSSIA SEES SCO AS POTENTIAL ENERGY CARTEL

Facing mounting Western accusations of aggressive behavior in the energy sector, Moscow is turning eastward in search of more friendly energy partners. One potential source is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

MOSCOW BEEFS UP SECURITY TIES WITH KYRGYZSTAN

Russia has moved to boost security ties with Kyrgyzstan in a perceived bid to guarantee the loyalty of the Central Asian state, once considered to be among Moscow's most trusted

RUSSIA SEEKS CLOSER MILITARY LINKS WITH UZBEKISTAN

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has hailed defense links between Moscow and Tashkent, saying that recent decisions made by the presidents of Russia and Uzbekistan have helped develop military cooperation

TRADE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA SLOWS DOWN

The Kremlin has repeatedly pledged to boost Russia’s economic ties with China. Recent statistics indicate that bilateral trade is rising, but at a rate slower than previously expected. In the

RUSSIA CONCERNED BY CHINA’S CHEMICAL POLLUTION

China has pledged sizable investments to prevent pollution of rivers near its border with Russia. However, some Russian officials remained unconvinced. China plans to spend $1.7 billion between now and

RUSSIA EYES YET ANOTHER GAS PIPELINE TO CHINA

Apart from preparing to build the Altai gas pipeline from Western Siberia, Russian authorities have also indicated plans to build a new gas pipeline from Sakhalin to neighboring China along

RUSSIA UPS OIL EXPORTS TO CHINA BY RAIL

Russian boosted its oil exports to China by rail this year, but crude shipments are yet to match earlier expectations. In the first six months of 2006, Russian crude shipments

RUSSIA EYES CENTRAL ASIA URANIUM DEPOSITS

Officials in Russia’s nuclear sector have long eyed Central Asia’s uranium deposits. Now Russia appears prepared to invest in the uranium-mining sector in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in order to supplement

RUSSIA REMAINS KARIMOV’S BEST HOPE

Amid growing international isolation, Tashkent views an alliance with Moscow as its main -- if not last -- geopolitical hope. The regime ruling Uzbekistan appears so keen to forge closer

MOSCOW STEPS UP ECONOMIC, POLITICAL TIES WITH UZBEKISTAN

As Tashkent drifts closer towards Moscow-led post-Soviet groupings, Russia has lost little time in boosting bilateral economic and political ties with Uzbekistan, Central Asia's major market. Russian President Vladimir Putin

RUSSIA VIEWS MONGOLIA AS GATEWAY TO CHINA

Russian banks have announced plans to fund a major refinery project in Mongolia. The oil refinery will not only process Siberian crude, but it is also designed to cater to

RUSSIA CHINA PLEDGE TO BOOST SECURITY TIES

Top Russian and Chinese security officials have reiterated earlier pledges to develop bilateral cooperation. They also agreed to hold an unprecedented security drill in Southern Russia, the region that includes

PUTIN, ALIYEV PREPARE FOR SUMMIT IN BAKU

The Kremlin has been working hard to strengthen ties with Azerbaijan, and President Vladimir Putin's upcoming trip to Baku is widely seen as a move designed to give bilateral relations

MOSCOW SEEKS TO ACQUIRE RUSSIAN DIAMOND MONOPOLY

As the Russian government moved to take over the country's diamond monopoly, Alrosa, the company simultaneously opted to diversify by acquiring majority stakes in several Siberian oil and gas assets.

MOSCOW TO INCREASE NUCLEAR TIES WITH UZBEKISTAN

The five members of the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) formally admitted Uzbekistan to the organization during its January 25 summit meeting in St. Petersburg. The EEC member states -- Russia,

RUSSIA EYES STRONGER ECONOMIC TIES WITH JAPAN

In the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Tokyo, Russian officials have reiterated their calls for stronger economic ties with Japan. However, there have been no indications

RUSSIA AND UKRAINE AGREE TO DISAGREE ON GAS SUPPLIES

Despite top-level discussions and official pledges, Russia and Ukraine remain deeply divided over natural gas supply terms for 2006. Russia is satisfied with Ukraine's readiness to review prices for Russian

CSTO SEEN AS A SHIELD AGAINST OUTSIDE MEDDLING

Russia has reiterated its pledges to strengthen the regional security grouping it has established with five former Soviet states. At an unprecedented November 29-30 meeting in Moscow of the Collective

RUSSIAN-JAPANESE PEACE TREATY REMAINS ELUSIVE

On the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin's November 20-22 trip to Japan for a summit in Tokyo with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a peace treaty between the two neighboring

RUSSIA SHEDS NO TEARS OVER PEACE TREATY WITH JAPAN

As Russia has failed to secure any significant economic commitments from Tokyo, notably on the Japan-bound Pacific oil pipeline route, the Kremlin is losing interest in resolving a long-standing territorial

CACO-EEC MERGE TO ELIMINATE OVERLAPPING GOALS

As leaders of Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan gathered for the October 6 Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) summit in St. Petersburg, they decided to merge their grouping with yet

RUSSIA WARY OF POSSIBLE WATER DISPUTE WITH CHINA

Russian regional officials, water management experts, and media have reiterated their earlier warnings that Russia could suffer economic and ecological damage as a result of Beijing's plans to siphon off

MOSCOW AFFIRMS ITS NUCLEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH IRAN

As Russia welcomed Iran's top nuclear official on September 12, Moscow is sending signals that the Kremlin remains keen to strengthen its nuclear partnership with Tehran. Iranian Vice-President Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh,

SAKHALIN ENERGY PROJECTS FACE REALITY CHECK

As the Shell-led Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Russian Far East faces cost overruns and delays, now Russian Sakhalin ventures appear to be facing a reality check,

MOSCOW BOOSTS SECURITY IN THE FAR EAST

From July 18 to 24, Russia is holding large-scale military maneuvers aimed at countering potential terrorist attacks in its Far East region. However, since terrorists have not yet really targeted

BAM RAILWAY TO BECOME EXPORT ROUTE?

The Baikal-Amur Railway line (BAM) was originally designed to become a strategic alternative to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The BAM was also supposed to give the development of Eastern Siberia a

RUSSIA SEEKS CLARITY IN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN

The Kremlin has urged Japan to show a "more concrete" interest in economic ties with Russia, while Moscow is yet to finalize its own Pacific oil pipeline plan. Meanwhile, prospects

CHINA, RUSSIA FLOAT IDEA OF SELLING BAIKAL WATER

Chinese and Russian officials are considering the possibility of diverting water from Lake Baikal in Siberia through Mongolia to China's Inner Mongolia Region. According to an unnamed official from China's

CIS, SHANGHAI GROUP HERALD COOPERATION DEAL

Following a series of recent setbacks, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been dismissed as an irrelevant institution. In an apparent attempt to reinvent itself, the CIS has clinched

RUSSIA PURSUES TURKMEN RICHES, WITH MIXED RESULTS

Russia has been courting Turkmenistan's authoritarian regime in an apparent attempt to secure its energy interests in the gas-rich Central Asian state. However, the pursuit has been dealt a number

RUSSIA’S GAZPROM EYES EAST ASIAN MARKETS

With the release of a strategy dubbed its "Eastern Program," the Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom revealed its plans to boost gas exports to East Asian markets in the coming

RUSSIA EYES CHINA AND OTHER ELECTRICITY MARKETS

Unified Energy Systems, the Russian electricity giant, has pledged to capitalize on China's fast growing energy needs by exporting Siberian electricity to China. In the meantime, Russia's pro-active approach to

RUSSIA INSISTS ON ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WITH IRAN

Despite differences between Russia and the United States over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, Moscow nonetheless continues to move towards boosting economic ties with Iran. Moreover, the Kremlin remains keen to strengthen

RUSSIA’S CONFUSING PACIFIC OIL GAME

Although Moscow's East Asian policies have been eclipsed by the oil and gas game, the long saga of Russia's desire to create a Pacific oil pipeline, coupled with the controversial

TIES BETWEEN RUSSIA AND MONGOLIA STALL

Russian officials have claimed there are no problems in their relations with Mongolia, with which Russia shares a 3,500-kilometer-long border. However, despite official claims to the contrary, the once-close economic