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A road sign directs traffic to the entrance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, north-east Germany. Odd Anderson/AFP

What the lifting of US sanctions means for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

By waiving sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia and Germany, the United States is paving the way for the controversial project to go ahead.
Ukraine is running on empty. EPA/Filip Singer

Can Ukraine’s new technocratic elite make the economy work?

Ten years ago, it was received wisdom in western academic, business and policy circles that Ukraine was an archetypal “captured state” – a state owned and run almost entirely by a small, insecure and fabulously…
Celebrations of Russia’s restored greatness are premature. EPA/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Putin’s patriotism and paranoia will be Russia’s undoing

Whether through improvisation, opportunism, fear or calculation, 2014 has seen a massive shift in the way political authority works in Russia. Moscow has moved dramatically away from a legal-rational way…
Installations of the main natural gas pipeline in the Boyarka village near Kiev. Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

Russia’s game of chicken with Ukraine leaves Europe on the edge

As with the previous Russia-Ukraine gas disputes in 2006 and 2009, how we describe the current stand-off between the two countries is a matter of semantics. Those earlier disputes found solutions based…
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping sign documents as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping look on. Alexey Druginyn/Ria Novosti/AAP

Australian LNG in the shadow of a global gas showdown

The US$400 billion gas deal signed between Russia’s giant state-owned corporation Gazprom and China last week is 16 times larger than its predessor in the supply of gas to China - a US$25 billion LNG project…
Putin talks; Gazprom’s CEO listens. EPA

Gazprom may yet be a victim of Putin’s Ukraine policy

Gazprom’s decision to hike the price of the gas it sells to Ukraine came as no surprise as it was flagged more than a month ago. At that time the company’s website showed the Russian prime minister, Dmitry…

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