GAZPROM: RUSSIA'S NATIONALIZED POLITICAL WEAPON AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION
GAZPROM: RUSSIA'S NATIONALIZED POLITICAL WEAPON AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE EUROPEAN UNIONMacey A. Bos, B.A.MALS Mentor: Elizabeth Zelensky, Ph.DABSTRACTHow has the Kremlin nationalized and politicized Gazprom, Russia's natural gas monopoly, for the purposes of using it as a political weapon? How has the Kremlin used this weapon to advance Russian interests in the former Soviet Space and the European Union? How has the European Union fought back against Russian political advancement through Gazprom? Using two case studies, Ukraine and Belarus, this study will examine Soviet and Russian energy policy and explain how energy diplomats have grown the Russian energy industry today while centralizing control of the industry under the Kremlin. The study will then focus on how the Kremlin has been able to re-gain control of Gazprom under the Putin presidency after being privatized under the Yeltsin presidency. The study will then examine Russia's relations with the EU as a result of the EU's dependence on Gazprom for natural gas supplies and Russia's use of Gazprom as a political weapon. This part of the study will focus on how the importance Russia has placed on Gazprom, in terms of Gazprom stimulating the Russian economy, has affected Russia's relationship with the EU. The study will also examine the lessons the EU can learn from Russia's relationships between Ukraine and Belarus as a result of the political nature of Gazprom. The study will also touch on Russia's entrance in the World Trade Organization and their refusal to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty's Protocol on Transit. The study will also look at the issue of pipeline ownership and how the lack of ownership has become a security threat to Gazprom's security. The research used for the study is derived from a variety of resources including research on the Gazprom website, analysis by industry experts, including Jonathan Stern and Marshall Goldman, as well as newspapers. Conclusions derived from the study include that nationalization of Gazprom has enabled the Kremlin to politicize Gazprom's functions to the effect of using Gazprom as nationalized political weapon; Gazprom, as a monopoly, is an important institution in Russia in terms of contributing to the Russian economy and in how the Kremlin has been able to use Gazprom to infiltrate other industries, such as the Russian oil industry, which has begun to create the basis for uniting the whole Russian energy industry; that Gazprom's mission might be to provide for their client countries, but the Kremlin has used Gazprom to infiltrate the European energy market to secure Russia's own interests abroad; and also that Gazprom faces various threats including their lack of pipeline ownership and how the organization is in a state of decline, not only are its gas reserves in decline, but the organization has failed to substantially re-invest in its infrastructure and field exploration enough to halt the decline.
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