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Energy Blast – September 24, 2010

‘If you stand alone you can’t survive in the Arctic. Nature makes people and states to help each other’: such was, apparently, the tone of Vladimir Putin’s speech at the first Arctic Conference, where the Prime Minister downplayed fears of a ‘battle’ for resources, instead employing a rhetoric of peaceful cooperation and sensitivity towards the zone’s ecosystems.   The BBC takes an interesting look at the perspective of China, which has no littoral claims to any part of the Arctic sphere, but whose energy-hungry gaze has turned towards the territory.  Russian fertilizer industry heads are fighting back against the liberalization of natural gas, a move which they say will ‘lead to the extinction of the domestic fertilizer industry’.   Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy, James Slutz, comments in this article on how the advent of European shale gas may affect the geo-political balance between Russia and Europe: ‘many Russian experts see shale gas as a threat to their market share and their resulting political influence in Europe’.  Russia has asserted that the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be unaffected by the Kremlin’s decision to abide by UN sanctions and halt the sale of S-300s missiles to Iran.