The start of LNG deliveries from Russia's Yamal Lng Plant has created new options for supplying Europe with Russian gas, weakening the emphasis on pipeline deliveries.
The commissioning of the Yamal LNG plant in December has led to tankers sailing west from the far northern Yamal peninsula. Russian businesses also have plans for producing LNG in
Sakhalin, in the Far East. The plans for trading in LNG are not new, and Russian businessmen and the Kremlin had pondered them for a long time. Nevertheless there has been a renewed interest in LNG lately, caused by what could be dangerous developments for the Russian gas business.
Gas policy delivery has been quite important for Moscow. It has been not just one of the major sources of revenue – Russia has had little to sell to foreign markets besides gas, oil and weapons – but also a way to exert geopolitical control.
The “gas wars” with Ukraine and even with friendly Belarus – member of the “union state” – have been a permanent part of Russia’s relationship with these countries for more than a decade. Moscow’s approach to the gas issue changed as time progressed.
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