Worldview: How Russia’s ‘pipeline diplomacy’ may weaken Ukraine

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The petroleum industry is the dominating feature of the Russian economy. Crude and refined petroleum make up 45 percent of the country’s exports and provide 30 percent of its GDP. Gazprom, the state-owned oil company, has control over the largest natural gas reserves in the world — it owns 17 percent of the world’s reserves and 72 percent of Russia’s. Given that Gazprom is functionally an extension of the Russian government, Moscow has considerable leverage over neighboring countries, as it can dictate the path and quantity of oil shipments. “Pipeline diplomacy,” therefore, is a po...

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