Energy

41 Items

The Chinese flag displayed at the Russian booth of import fair.

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

China and Russia: A Strategic Alliance in the Making

| Dec. 14, 2018

THE YEAR before he died in 2017, one of America’s leading twentieth-century strategic thinkers, Zbigniew Brzezinski, sounded an alarm. In analyzing threats to American security, “the most dangerous scenario,” he warned, would be “a grand coalition of China and Russia…united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.” This coalition “would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower.”

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

The Silk Road between a Rock and a Hard Place: Russian and Chinese Competition for Central Asia's Energy

kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Insight Turkey

The Silk Road between a Rock and a Hard Place: Russian and Chinese Competition for Central Asia's Energy

| Oct. 01, 2018

China’s displacement of Russian economic influence in Central Asia is generating great interest in Western academic and policy circles, but this research has, as yet, yielded few analytical nuances. This article attempts to shed light on the under-researched question of what explains Central Asian governments’ failure to more effectively capitalize on the growing Central Asian rivalry between Russia, China, the United States, Turkey, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and other regional powers that, since the early 1990s, has been overwhelmingly directed towards strategic energy considerations and hydrocarbon interests.

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

Max Avdeev/Flikr

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

| May 30, 2018

This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Germany to drop its support for a major new Russian gas pipeline if Europe wants to avoid a trade war with Washington, while a senior U.S. diplomat warned that the project could be hit with U.S. sanctions; Russian President Vladimir Putin responded defiantly. This development, sadly, fuels the further politicization of the European gas market—a space that, in many ways, has reflected the triumphs of a depoliticized, pro-market technocracy, which has managed to stimulate competition and lower prices irrespective of changing political trends. Just last year, Trump called on European countries to buy American liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which, for now, remains more expensive than Russia’s pipeline gas. Certainly, the U.S. has much to gain on the global gas market, which has changed drastically over the past decade, as America rapidly transformed from an importer to an exporter. Europe’s gas market, meanwhile, has much to gain from additional supply. But Trump’s approach, especially if the latest reports are true, both alienates Western European partners and feeds into a sensationalist, simplistic portrayal of the new U.S. role’s effect on Russia—as a zero-sum game, in which these new, plentiful U.S. gas supplies serve as an antidote to Russia's “gas dominance” in Europe and hence to Moscow's political leverage.

Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing, June 25, 2016.

President of Russia

Journal Article - Europe-Asia Studies

Explaining the 2014 Sino–Russian Gas Breakthrough: The Primacy of Domestic Politics

| Jan. 22, 2018

On 21 May 2014, during a state visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing, China and Russia signed a $400 billion, 30-year gas deal. Under this agreement, China will import 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom, beginning in 2018. Why, after 15 years of stalemated negotiations, did this breakthrough occur in 2014? Why did a natural, symbiotic gas relationship not develop earlier and more gradually? Most studies explain this by looking at Russia’s international isolation post Ukraine. Based on interviews with both Chinese and Russian officials this article argues the following: domestic incentives, rather than foreign-policy pressures, are the real force behind the timing of Sino–Russian energy breakthroughs in 2014.

Gazprom sign in Moscow.

Martin Griffiths

Journal Article - Post-Soviet Affairs

Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities

| Dec. 22, 2017

This study investigates whether, as part of a broader “Asian Energy Pivot,” Russia’s energy giant Gazprom refashioned its export strategy away from Europe, and what impact such a reorientation might have on the EU–Russia gas relationship. It uses four empirical cases to emphasize the domestic movers underlying Russia’s eastward shift in energy trade, developing a constructivist theory rooted in the dynamics of Russia’s dominant public narrative and the contours of domestic politics. It argues that Russia’s national interests changed as a result of how Russian policy-makers interpreted and reacted to the stand-off with Europe, in response to what they perceived as Europe’s attempt to isolate it economically and geopolitically. 

Natalie Jaresko at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Benn Craig

News

Natalie Jaresko discusses her time as Finance Minister of Ukraine with Harvard's Future of Diplomacy Project

| Dec. 21, 2016

Natalie Jaresko (MPP ’89), former Finance Minister of Ukraine, returned to Harvard on October 31st, 2016 to take part in the Future of Diplomacy Project’s international speaker series. In a public seminar moderated by Faculty Director Nicholas Burns, Jaresko, who currently serves as chairwoman of the Aspen Institute Kyiv, reflected on her time in office from 2014 to 2016. In her two years in office, the Ukrainian government  had to contend with the Russian annexation of Crimea, a national debt crisis, widespread governmental corruption, and political instability.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

A 30-Year-Old Saudi Prince Could Jump-Start The Kingdom - Or Drive It Off A Cliff

| June 28, 2016

The tensions unsettling the Saudi royal family became clear in September, when Joseph Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Riyadh, flew to Jiddah to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, nominally the heir to the throne. But when he arrived, he was told that the deputy crown prince, a brash 30-year-old named Mohammed bin Salman, wanted to see him urgently. Senior Fellow, David Ignatius, discusses Mohammed bin Salman opportunity to transform Saudi Arabia.