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Fuel and Power. Energy, Trade and Russian Foreign Relations from Lenin to Putin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2024 (i.E.). Link to publisher's website
Russia’s role in global energy history is the subject of this book. While this study takes a longitudinal view—from Lenin to Putin—the focus is on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, especially the period from the mid-1950s until the early 1980s. Russia had been engaged in the trade of oil since the late nineteenth century, but the rise of oil—and later also natural gas—to a dominant position in the Soviet trade structure heralded a new chapter in the country’s global economic entanglement. It was during Leonid Brezhnev’s tenure as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) that key decisions were made to tap into Western Siberia’s vast natural resources and expand the shipment of oil—and later also gas—to a previously unprecedented scale through a dense transnational network of pipelines. Energy became the glue that held the Soviet-dominated Eastern European socialist bloc together, fostering mutual dependencies and shaping relations that would persist even after the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Through the conclusion of long-term economic agreements with selected Western European countries, the Soviet Union rose to become Europe’s single most important trading partner in the sphere of oil and gas, essentially breaking its longstanding rule of modernizing and developing its economy, if not in isolation, then as independently as possible from the capitalist-dominated world economy. The Soviet Union thus abandoned autarky in favor of economic integration and exchange across the Iron Curtain, paving the way for the kind of energy interdependencies that continue to shape economic relations between Russia and Europe to this day. The book manuscript has been completed and accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press.
Eliska Guggisberg (Junova): Nationalitätenpolitik in Russland nach 1991. Die staatlichen Strategien im Umgang mit den nichtrussischen Völkern (Arbeitstitel)