Russia is losing its status as an energy superpower

In just a few weeks, Mr Putin has destroyed the reputation Russia has cultivated as a reliable energy supplier. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Vladimir Putin once said that he did not like hearing Russia described as an "energy superpower". It reminded him, he said, too much of the cold war. But he has revelled in what his country's energy resources have brought him - global political clout and massive revenues. But the consequences of the Ukraine war will turn Russia into a "reduced energy power".

This marks the end of an era that began three decades ago with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the years afterwards, for the first time since the Bolshevik revolution, the Russian oil industry rebounded and largely integrated with the global industry. Today Russia is one of the top three oil producers in the world (after America and roughly equal with Saudi Arabia) and is also the world's largest natural-gas exporter and second-largest producer, again after America.

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