The Russian Oil Economy
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The Russian Oil Economy

Jennifer I. Considine and William A. Kerr

In this unique work, Jennifer Considine and William Kerr contend that while OPEC currently dominates the international oil market, Russia will be a key player in the future international energy market. Indeed, Russia’s petroleum resources rival those of Saudi Arabia. More than almost any other industry, future performance is often determined by the influence of decisions made in the past. This book provides a detailed history of the development of the Russian oil economy in order to build up a comprehensive and discerning picture of its future role and significance in the global energy market of the 21st century.
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Chapter 5: Malaise at the End of the Command Era

Jennifer I. Considine and William A. Kerr

Extract

5. Malaise at the End of the Command Era 5.1 BREZHNEV’S SEARCH FOR STABILITY STIFLES GROWTH The country wanted no further alarms and excursions and it yearned rather for stability and perks; cheap food, cheap rents, jobs for life and three-ruble vodka. They were provided by Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the Ukrainian steel-workers son from Dneprodzerzhinsk. . . . He was vain; vanity, the importance of appearance, was key to his era. He had a modest, noncombatant war as a political advisor, but loved uniforms and medals, which he awarded himself. He won Lenin Prizes for Peace and for Literature; he became a Marshal of the Soviet Union. . . It was the form, not the substance, that was important to him; on the surface, at least, the country prospered under him (Moynahan,l994, pp. 21 1-12). Khrushchev’s dismissal put an end to the ‘hare-brained schemes’, and endless reorganizations that had undermined the security of both state and party bureaucracies. The Soviet ruling class, the Communist Party, had at long last come of age and was willing to fight tooth and claw for the simple privilege of stability. No errors could be made in the next.@ansition. With powerful vested interests, and job security, now clearly on the line, the new leader must be ideally suited to the primary directive: the preservation of the Party, status, and appearances. The appointment of Leonid Brezhnev a tough Stalin enthusiast - to the position of First Secretary would guarantee this result for many years to come. His newly instated...

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