Gas Pipeline from Russia to South Korea: the Russian Dimension
Currently, Russia has come to realize that a resolute turn to East Asia is a necessary means to both give impetus to economic modernization of its Far Eastern areas and strengthen its international positions. For these tasks to be a success, coordinating prospective planning with that of East Asian countries is a vital precondition. In this regard, worthy of attention is the gas pipeline from Russia to the Republic of Korea via the territory of DPRK. What factors are at present determining Russia’s renewed interest in the pipeline? And what strategic traps – if any – can Russia fall into in case the project is implemented?
For Russia, this issue is not new – it has been addressed in some way or another since the beginning of the 1990s. Various options concerning sources of gas supply, routes of transportation etc. have been explored. Simultaneously, the project has been a focus of special interest among Russian experts. With these factors in mind, an attempt to analyze the project in Russia’s priorities, both current and future, seems to be a timely exercise.