Ahead of the Curve: The New Axis of Oil

On his landmark visit to Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the two countries partners, not rivals. Last year, Flynt Leverett and Pierre Noel discussed Russian energy strategy.

Issue: Summer 2006

Editorial Note: On his landmark visit toSaudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the two countries partners, not rivals, saying, "RussiaandSaudi Arabiaare the world's leading energy producers and exporters, and here it is easy for us to find common ground." InQatar, the Russian leader noted, "gas producers should coordinate their activities." King Abdullah, for his part, told Putin: "The two countries enjoy huge economic potentials, vast natural resources and a variety of investment opportunities apart from a distinguished cultural heritage. They also enjoy huge political influence at the world stage. This will contribute to taking our mutual cooperation to new heights within a strategic perspective."Russia's energy diplomacy is in full swing-but to what end?

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