Everyone’s talking about it – it’s been a year since the crisis officially started and while any possible aspect of it has been deeply covered in the media, in politics and just about anywhere else its truly surprising effects are just making themselves known.

One of the most surprising ones is that of Gazprom – world famous energy giant whose income suffered a substantial drop of 40% compared to 2008. This is mainly due to its main customer, the European Union. According to the latest estimates of the Administrative Board, exports have dropped by 35-40% in 2009 first quarter and Gazprom’s EU share went from 31% to 16%, while incomes from the same quarter dropped by 40%. Two months ago the president of the board, Aleksei Miller, showed optimism for the future in light of future growth of demand in the EU by 2010 and of a new surge in oil prices to 100$ a baril.

Idealistic? Optimistic? The Russians? I think not!

This may be all fine and dandy, but, aside from showing an optimistic perspective in the natural gas market, the Russians have recently made several tie breaking deals concerning the energy sector, the most important of which were the recent deal with Kazakhstan to create a civil nuclear energy company and a renewed oil delivery contract with Turkmenistan (which incidentaly has plans for a modern nuclear power plant at its Capian sea port Aktau).

A strong grasp on the energy market is not something you risk letting go of on account of having a trusting nature, especially not when what you have to trust is market fluctuations…

On that happy note, welcome to a new and exciting autumn term which, at least economically speaking, promises to be full of things worth talking and debating about.