Policy Memos

Disrupting the Balance: Russian Efforts to Control Kazakhstan's Oil

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Kremlin has been reestablishing state ownership over its domestic extraction industries while driving foreign investors out. It has also used monopoly state control over its gas pipelines to exert political pressure on foreign partners.

Russia seems to have similar aims in neighboring Kazakhstan. Moscow left Kazakhstan’s oilfields underdeveloped in Soviet times, concentrating its efforts on western Siberia instead. Yet a network of Soviet-built pipelines sent Kazakhstan’s oil across Russia to the rest of the Soviet Union. Now Russia wants to reestablish an export pipeline monopoly in independent Kazakhstan, using Moscow’s state-owned Transneft company, and expand control over associated oilfields. [...]

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About the author

Professor; Chair of the Political Science Department
Barnard College, Columbia University