pipelines and export capacity
Газопроводы Газпрома и экспортные мощности
Gas pipelines of West Siberia
Газопроводы Западной Сибири
Export flows of Gazprom
Spot, Gazprom, Brent
Цены на нефть и
End-use price of gas
Russia and USA
Daily gas production
Brief history of Soviet and Russian
gas pipeline policy
Democratic Russia brings the Cold
War fears of Western Europe into reality.
West European states were
always afraid that increased gas imports from the USSR would make them
dangerously open to Soviet political blackmail.
These fears never came
true. Even in the worst periods of Cold War, the USSR did not use the
leverage of gas pipelines in its political interests.
When Poland was leaving
the Warsaw Pact, the subsidized price of gas and the gas flow stayed intact.
When Lithuania tried to
step out of the Soviet Union, the price of gas and the flow also stayed
There was a pipeline route
conflict of a smaller scale when the first line from Urengoy to Germany was
built in the early 1980s.
West Germany did not want
the pipeline to run through East Germany.
To avoid East Germany
controlling the tap, the pipeline had to take a much longer route via
Ukraine and Czechoslovakia.
Without this concern,
Belorussia and Poland would have been the major transit countries for
Russian gas exports to Western Europe.
KGB agent Vladimir Putin was assigned to Stasi station Dresden in 1985,
shortly after the Urengoy-Uzhgorod-Germany pipeline was commissioned.
From the years of Cold War
through the political and economic turmoil of the 1990s, the USSR Gas
Ministry, now Gazprom, was a very reliable supplier of gas to Europe.
Now democratic Russia is
using Gazprom and gas pipelines to influence the coming election in Ukraine.
This move will
the operating costs of Gazprom.
This move will also
potentially destabilize the situation in Ukraine, which in turn can
destabilize the gas flow to Europe.
A comparison of price
offers - $220/mcm for Ukraine and $110-120 for Estonia, Latvia and Georgia -
shows the political nature of Ukrainian transit problem.
From now on Europe knows
that any country is at risk to be punished.
Comparing the USSR of
early 1980s, Russia of the 1990s and Russia today, it is unclear whether the
Gas Pipeline Force is a substitute of weak Air Force and Strategic Nuclear
Command, or not.