Russia: a first class geopolitical actor which has difficulties fitting in with other powers in the economic sphere

Up to now (2018) Spain has only imported gas from countries like Algeria (51%), France (12%) or Qatar (11%). But in other European energy markets Russia has been an important supplier for some time. And contrary to what was thought during some of the most intense moments of the Ukraine crisis in 2014-2015, this is something which will not easily change in the short term. In fact, in the last few months Gazprom has increased its gas exports to Europe to a record 193.000 million square metres. This big Russian gas company will supply almost 40% of the gas used in Europe, although it has been obliged to lower fuel prices to maintain its market share. Poland, Latvia and others countries are building installations to store LNG with the aim of increasing exports from the US and other countries. This is worrying some Russian analysts in the medium term from the point of view of prices and demand.

Despite the tense relationships between Russia and the EU, Spain is looking for an opportunity in the Russian market like everyone else. It has a less of a track record than Germany or France, but at the same time it belongs to the group of countries which Moscow considers “restrained”: they comply with and respect the EU’s sanction policy against Russia, but at the same time they are not making a strong push to prolong the vetos or maintain multiple fronts open with the Russian government. Highlights of Spain’s adventure in the Russian market include Técnicas Reunidas, Iberdrola or Indra’s energy and infrastructure projects. The sale of Talgo’s trains, ACS’ traffic management in Moscow and the design of new underground lines are proof that Spain brings much more to the Russian market than just sun and sand.

Read all the article in ‘The Corner’: Russia: Oil Is Cheap, But Peace Is Dear

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