The Yukos Endgame; Putin Is Looking for Strategic Control, Starting with the Effective Renationalization of Russia's Largest Oil Giant

By Brown, Frank; Titova, Nadezhda | Newsweek International, July 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Yukos Endgame; Putin Is Looking for Strategic Control, Starting with the Effective Renationalization of Russia's Largest Oil Giant


Brown, Frank, Titova, Nadezhda, Newsweek International


Byline: Frank Brown, With Nadezhda Titova

What is Vladimir Putin's real game in the Yukos affair? As the tax charges against Russia's largest oil company and its jailed former CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, wind through court, the government has said it simply wants to collect the billions it is owed. Others say the case is payback for Khodorkovsky's financing of election rivals to Putin. But the one clear aspect of this affair is how it is likely to end, say oil executives and attorneys close to the case. Yukos will, in essence, pay its tax bill with stock, or end up in the hands of a company friendly to the Kremlin, effectively renationalizing the firm and giving Putin better control of a strategic resource. "Putin wants to be Sheik Yamani in 1973," says a longtime American observer of the Russian market.

Sheik Ahmad Zaki Yamani was the Saudi Arabian Oil minister who leveraged oil as a political tool and was instrumental in founding the OPEC oil cartel. Putin clearly is not looking to bring the West to its knees--Yamani was seeking revenge for the 1973 Yom Kippur war--but the ways in which he has eyed oil for geostrategic gain often go overlooked. In the past year the Kremlin has been reasserting control over a sector widely privatized after the fall of the Soviet Union; Putin is making it clear that energy decisions with foreign-policy consequences are not for businessmen to make. In the Kremlin's view, one of Khodorkovsky's great sins was to push for an oil pipeline from Siberia to China--Russia's top security threat in Asia. Putin has scrapped that idea in favor of a more expensive and less commercially viable pipeline to Japan.

The Kremlin has never articulated a new policy, instead using catchphrases like "strategic natural resources" to broadcast the change and letting sympathetic think tanks explain it. "There is a strong [Kremlin] lobby to create a fully unified commercial and geopolitical approach," says Stanislav Belkovsky of the National Security Council, a think tank linked to the nationalists in Putin's inner circle. One tenet of their world view is, "If foreigners control pipelines, then they can control prices."

Oil insiders cite a pattern of government moves to rein in private firms. In November, the state-run natural-gas behemoth Gazprom approached British Petroleum's Russian subsidiary, TNK-BP, and, a BP spokes-man says, asked for a role in its planned $15 billion pipeline to gas fields in Siberia. A Gazprom spokesman denies this, saying the company is concerned only about the legitimacy of TNK-BP licenses for the fields. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Yukos Endgame; Putin Is Looking for Strategic Control, Starting with the Effective Renationalization of Russia's Largest Oil Giant
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.