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Energy Security Redux – For Russia to be a Responsible Energy Market Player it Needs to be a “Bona Fide Stakeholder” in the Global Energy Security Equation

Energy Expert Tells Viewers That the World Confronts a New Paradigm When Addressing Energy Policy With Russia

WASHINGTON, DC - As Russia and Ukraine continue their disagreement over natural gas pricing and shipments to Europe, Russia's growing assertiveness in the region is becoming very apparent. Alexander Mirtchev, founder and president of Krull Corporation discussed with Energy and Environment Television how the Russia-Ukraine natural gas relationship affects European and American foreign and energy policies and what does Russia's growing influence in the energy sector mean for the United States, as well as the underlying factors, determining the unmanageability in the long run of the Russia-Ukraine natural gas relations in its present iteration and explained why Europe is likely to face ongoing supply disruptions, providing no coherent arrangements, reflecting the new XXI century realities, are established.

Opinions vary widely regarding the causes of the current and previous gas crises seizing the European continent, and legitimate criticism abounds. In reality, "there is little doubt a long-term sustainable solution to the recurring tug-of-war between Russia and Ukraine would require the EU to empower a single authority to conduct a coherent and coordinated policy and negotiate a deal with Russia that would reflect the post-Soviet realities. Without some type of an institutionalized 'energy user association,' on one hand, and a new paradigm of engagement by Russia on the other, Europe will remain vulnerable to political and economic cycles in its Eastern neighborhood," Dr. Mirtchev said. "This new paradigm has been coalescing for some time despite the significant and occasionally uncomfortable policy adjustments that it may require form the West and Russia's disdainful conduct in the global energy markets."

The present situation shows once again that the European nations should find the way to establish a consistent joint policy of resolving this issue for the long term, since at present, "they are neither singing in unison nor even from the same sheet of music. As part of a whole set of issues defining this critical relationship, the Europeans are now in the position to reach a coordinated agreement with Russia on energy trade," he indicated.

Dr. Mirtchev continued by discussing the other side of the equation -- what European nations need to do to engage in constructive negotiations with Russia to build a common vision of the future. "The new set of policies should factor in the Russian perspective in earnest; we shouldn't expect the Russians to lose sight of their own interests, namely, maintaining in one way or another some strategic competitive advantage through energy resources, nor could we expect them to be a responsible market player, doing business as usual, without being a bona fide stakeholder," he said. In addition, Ukraine should be encouraged to resolve its energy issues with Russia in a more business-like fashion.

Mirtchev indicated "All of the above obviously requires a completely different level of transparency, accountability, and, frankly, much clearer, agreed upon and understandable 'rules of the game,' not to mention curtailing the inevitable disruptive role of the 'vested interests.'"

Last, but not least, the diversity or sources and routes that could come with new pipelines and new arrangements obviously "would further stabilize the situation." He noted that "European nations patently need to diversify their energy supplies, but this is still little more than a political slogan. Whether this is going to materialize is a matter of policy and political will. And it would soon become apparent whether the European nations are able to unite around a new understanding of XXI century realities, or would end up with another temporary arrangement, tempted by varying agendas."

Dr. Mirtchev concluded that as a new administration prepares to take office in Washington, officials must take note of Russia's newly robust role in the region that is likely to remain in place both during the downturn and the recovery. "Russia, more or less, is building, or wants to build not only a prosperous society, but a great state," he told OnPoint's host Monica Trauzzi. "This is a different equation than the one we are accustomed to here in Washington. In certain sectors, the relationships could become quite competitive, and therefore a constructive dialogue should take place." He indicated that the most important part of such a dialog is that, from a strategic and historical point of view, both countries are "on the same page."

To view the interview, visit http://www.eenews.net/tv/video_guide/919.
About Krull Corporation:

Krull Corporation is a Washington, D.C.-based advisory and project management firm with expertise in dealing with economic growth, industrial expansion and restructuring issues. Founded by Dr. Alexander Mirtchev in 1992, Krull Corporation capitalizes on his extensive professional experience in market developments and reforms and focuses primarily on emerging markets and rapidly developing economies. Over the years, the firm has provided its clients with outstanding strategic guidance and professional services in various areas. Combining a unique blend of global reach and understanding of local markets, Krull is able to consistently produce high quality results and returns.