Russia’s Gas Policy in Asia: The Driving Forces and the Nature of Institutional Changes

Shadrina, E.


Russia’s turn to Asian energy markets started well before punitive sanctions were imposed by the international community. The international community politicized trade in energy after having interpreted Russia’s position on the Ukrainian crisis as a demonstration of Russia’s imperial ambitions and attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union against the Ukraine’s sovereign will to seek closer economic ties with the European Union (EU) and not with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Before the sanctions, Russia had been progressing toward establishing alternatives to the EU markets and securing its strategic economic interests in the Asian gas markets. Uncertainty inflicted on Russia’s energy-dependent economy by the sanctions has caused a new round of institutional changes in Russia’s gas policy as a whole and its Asian dimension, in particular. This paper analyses the premises and consequences of recent (pre- and post-Ukrainian crisis) institutional transitions in Russia’s natural gas governance and explores the opportunities and limitations Russia has for the implementation of its eastern natural gas policy.

Keywords:Institutional change, natural gas policy, Russia, Eastern Siberia and Far East (ESFE), Northeast Asia (NEA).



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