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New book by Ingerid Opdahl: The Russian State and Russian Energy Companies, 1992–2018

The Russian State and Russian Energy Companies analyses the development of relations between the state and five major energy companies, and how this shaped Russia’s foreign policy in the post-Soviet region. The book argues that the development of Russia’s political economy mattered for foreign policy over the quarter of a century from 1992 to 2018. Energy companies’ roles in institutional development enabled them to influence foreign policy formation, and they became available as tools to implement foreign policy. The extent to which it happened for each company varied with their accessibility to the Russian state. Institutional development increased state capacity, in a way that strengthened Russia’s political regime. The book shows how the combined power of several companies in the gas, oil, electricity, and nuclear energy industry was a key feature of Russian foreign policy, both in bilateral relationships and in support of Russia’s regional position. In this way, Russia’s energy resources were converted to regional influence. The book contributes to our understanding of Russia’s political economy and its influence on foreign policy, and of the formation of policy towards post-Soviet states.

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