Russia’s recent intent to use gas supplies to influence the former Soviet Union Republics, and now New Independent States (NIS), has mirrored that of the Soviet’s handling of hydrocarbon supplies to the Eastern bloc, or the Council on Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA). This paper explores the historical and unique conditions in making a comparison of energy trading patterns in the 1970s and 2000s. In the end, by comparing ‘then’ and ‘now’, we see a pattern of negative repercussions when the energy card is employed. This study employs a within case study cross-temporal comparative framework and asks: why would Russia transfer a failed policy of subsidies onto its newly independent states?

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