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This book deals with a highly important transitional period of Russian politics covering the Yeltsin and Putin eras. The main theme of these two eras has been the question of who controls the domestic oil industry: the Kremlin, Russian regional barons, or the oligarchs. The relationships between these actors have defined the evolution of the Russian political system since the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day. The initial arrangements of the early 1990s between the Kremlin and the regions with regard to the oil sector imposed considerable constraints on the business activities of federal oil companies throughout the Russian Federation. This book examines the main problems that federal oil companies faced in their formative years and their subsequent strategies aimed at undermining regional control over the key aspects of national oil production. It argues that since the late 1990s, federal corporate groups have successfully undermined the hold of regional authorities on the national oil sector. As a result, the Kremlin with the help of oligarchs, managed to reintegrate the semi-confederal Russian Federation economically and politically. This set the stage for the present situation of further centralisation of state control over the Russian national oil sector and the emergence of Russia as a hydrocarbon power.
Dr Shamil Midkhatovich Yenikeyeff is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and a Senior Associate Member at the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He holds a first class degree in law from the Bashkir State University, Russia and an M.Phil and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University. In the 1990s he worked in the Russian parliament as an advisor on the formation of the state authority system in Russia. Dr Yenikeyeff's current research focuses on the political economy of the Russian oil and gas sectors with emphasis on economic policies, state-business relations, corporate strategies, political and economic risks.