RUSSIA PLAYS ITS OIL CARD

27/11/2016



Russia’s Tatar oil company TATNEFT has decreased its oil shipping to Czech Republic to 300.000 tones from 500.000 in June. According to 2007 data, TATNEFT officials, which has a market value of 117 billion dollars and which is Almetjewsk based, stated that Turkey is more profitable while explaining the reasons of decrease in Czech Republic’s oil amount. Noting that they are supplying oil for Tüpraş, TAFTNET Advisor of Deputy Director General Nurislam Sabuyev said Tüpraş is both an old trading partner and that their profit rate is much more compared to that of the Czech Republic. It is stated that the main oil refinery of the country, Unipetrol, has been using state reserves due to its shrinking oil capacity. Is this decision really “just commercial”? Or does the agreement between Czechs and Americans on missile shield lies behind it? Drushba (Friendship) Oil Pipeline will discharge less oil ever after. The decrease in the amount of oil from this pipeline, which ironically carries the name of “friendship”, also points out that the fellowship between Czech Republic and America is deteriorating. This development came after an important agreement between the US Secreatry of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karl Schwarzenberg. Czech Republic has backed the American air defense system and let a radar facility be built on its own land. No coincidence exists in foreign policy. Maybe this situation is not a breaking point for the history of the region but, Russia’s possible reactions to others after Czech Republic can be the “early drawbacks” of a new and significant period. Czech media and the commentators in Prague perceive this as a “threat” by America. Russia has played its “oil”, “natural gas” and “pipeline” cards successfully after the collapse of the USSR. In the post-Soviet era, Russian Federation evaluated the energy sector as the “determinant factor” in its relations with post-Soviet era states and former East Bloc countries. The energy sources in the world gradually increases, and safe, cheap and steady energy supply has the priority in foreign politics and defense concept for all the countries. The Russian menace towards the Czech Republic is also an important matter of concern for the other countries that supported USA’s defense system. Within this framework, it is the most reasonable possibility that Russia will use the “energy card” more in heading for foreign policy and defense targets. Contrary to what was expected, globalization could not make countries adopt the motto of “working and living together”. The dreadful missiles of Cold War Era have been replaced by oil wells and pipelines. Coming along with globalization, “mutual dependence” may trigger many new regional tensions besides the beleaguered global economy and skyrocketing energy prices.
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