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The Cheleken oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan. Courtesy of

Central Asian Gas Exports Dependency: Swapping Russian Patronage for Chinese

Farkhod Aminjonov
RUSI Journal, 31 May 2018
Russia, Central and South Asia
Central Asian gas exporters may have swapped dependency on one client for another with trade arrangements with Russia and China.

The most promising initiative to challenge the Russian monopsony over the export of Central Asian gas has turned into a ‘new’ dependency on China. Central Asian exporters were hoping to decrease the extent of their vulnerability by using the corridor to China to bargain for better gas trading arrangements with Russia. However, Central Asia has fallen into the same trap of excessive dependence on another single customer with potentially far more severe consequences for the region’s energy security, economy and reliability of energy relations. Farkhod Aminjonov shows that even massive Chinese investments used as leverage could not guarantee full compliance with the terms of agreements and may fail to prevent disputes in the future.

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