What Was Russia’s Rationale for Expropriation of Ukrainian Black Sea Gas Resources?

December 22, 2016

In November, as part of PSSI's Economic and Financial Threat Program, a closed-door roundtable was held on Russia's oil-and gas-driven militarization of Crimea and the Black Sea, which featured NATO officials and Ukrainian energy experts among the speakers. Since July, Russia has been moving expropriated Ukrainian drill rigs that are presently the most technologically advanced in the region (namely, "Petro Hodovanets" and "Ukraine") and other energy infrastructure under armed guard into Crimean waters (now claimed by Russia), a Ukrainian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending out 370 kilometers into the Black Sea.

For this purpose, Maksym Bugriy, Research Fellow at the Razumkov Centre (Ukraine) and non-resident analyst with the Jamestown Foundation in Washington D.C., wrote a piece titled Russia's Rationale for Expropriation of Ukrainian Black Sea Gas Resources, in which he interprets the role of the Black gas fields as an important strategic objective in planning the annexation of Crimea. He also considers the "profiteering" logic behind this move and delves into potential consequences. It is concluded that in the foreseeable future Moscow is likely to exert considerable pressure to littoral and regional states, as well as exploit the increasingly fractured transatlantic partnership, which can lead to attracting investment partners, and thus critically important technology.


Maksym Bugriy

Research Fellow, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes

Maksym Bugriy is involved with the project of expert support for Ukraine's Security and Defence Sector Reform, focusing on the governance. His other research directions include the analysis of Russian economic statecraft and PhD research of security architecture in the Baltic and Black Sea Regions under the supervision of Prof. Mika Aaltola, Tallinn University.

Maksym Bugriy is non-resident analyst with the Jamestown Foundation in Washington D.C. He was Research Fellow with International Centre of Defence and Security in Tallinn from August 2014 until December 2015. During 2011, Maksym was a public servant as the Head of the Geo-Economics Sector with the Ukrainian Presidential think tank The National Institute for Strategic Studies. Prior to working as an international affairs analyst, Mr. Bugriy spent more than ten years working as a research analyst and corporate finance associate with regional leading investment banks, including Troika Dialog (2006-2010).

Maksym graduated with an MBA from Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and has a Master's of Finance and Specialist' ofPhilosophy from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv.