It’s easy to dismiss what Russia is doing with Venezuela as political theater – an attempt to create artificial leverage to use with Washington in other disputes across the globe. But in terms of business, things look much more serious. Check out this bit from Kommersant over the weekend:
Dmitry Medvedev negotiated with his Venezuela’s counterpart Hugo Chavez in Caracas late Wednesday. The event gathered the truly big business of Russia. Rosneft President Sergei Bogdanchikov, LUKOIL chief Vagit Alekperov, Surgutneftegaz CEO Vladimir Bogdanov, Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev were waiting for the news conference together with reporters. (…)
Vice premier Igor Sechin, who supervises the energy issues in Russia, showed up a bit later. It was the third Venezuela’s trip of Sechin from September.
If any other reader can think of another time that the Kremlin has worked this hard to bring not just one company, but three of the country’s oil giants together for some kingmaking, I’d like to hear it. Just seeing Bogdanchikov, Alekperov (whom I recently blogged about), and Sechin all together really means that something big is underway – something more than just lip service and posturing. Let’s all pay attention here.