An analysis of the development and the importance of oil and gas resources in Russia and their relationship to the Russian economic growth and foreign policy
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This dissertation analyzes the development of the oil and gas sector in Russia with a view to understand the role of these assets on the formation of Russian state interests and consequent policy prioritization, both at the domestic and the international level. The study identifies economic and political issues on which the influence of the oil and gas resources has been significant. The dissertation elucidates the various links between Russian economic development and revenues from the oil and gas sector, and well as explicit and implicit connections between Russian foreign policy and the oil and gas sector. In the changing world order, strategic manipulation, communication, persuasion and economic incentives became as important as military might or an outright threat in order to shape the outcome of international issues. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, oil and gas diplomacy, pipeline politics, subsidised energy deliveries, threats to cut-off energy deliveries coloured Russian attempts to revitalize influence throughout the territory of the former Soviet iv Union. Russia today is wedged between net consumers of energy which are competing to secure best terms for their oil and gas deliveries. As the Russian military capabilities fell after 1991, the policy around these vital resources has become the primary drivers of Russian domestic and foreign agenda. Another aim of this analysis is to contribute to the study of international relations by emphasizing its analysis of a state’s domestic agenda’s effect on the international arena. Domestic factors have a crucial relevance to relationships shared by actors at the international level. This dissertation will use Russia’s development of the oil and gas sector as a case for evaluating and understanding the relationship between domestic and international issues.