Written by Oleg Torbasow in April 2002 and translated into English by Dar Zhutayev. First published on Maoism.Ru
Here are some of the most recent examples of how today’s Russian Federation plays the role of a semi-/sub-empire:
“The minority shareholders of the largest oil refinery in Bulgaria, Lukoil Neftokhim, have voiced their concern over the actions of the the Russian oil company Lukoil, owner of a controlling stake in the Bulgarian firm… The investors said that Lukoil had seriously underestimated both the proceeds and the profitability of this Bulgarian oil refinery by means of using transfer prices. As a result, the proceeds for the last year of one of the largest oil refineries in East Europe have decreased by more than one-third, the profitability having dwindled practically down to zero, the press release states. An attempt by the minority shareholders to introduce their representative into the Supervisory Council during a general shareholders’ meeting has failed: Lukoil has voted against” (Lenta.ru, January 18, 2002).
Russia, or, to be more precise, the oil monopoly Lukoil that intends to increase oil mining in Kazakhstan fourfold, owns a 25% stake in the Kurmangazy project. Now Lukoil is mining about 1 million tons of petroleum per year in Kazakhstan, in the deposits Kumkol, Tengiz and Karachaganak. Over a 6.5-year period, the company has invested $500 million in developing the Kazakhstani deposits of petroleum and natural gas (“PRIME-TASS” Economic Information Agency, April 1, 2002).
“Iraq owes Russia about $8 billion. The total cost of 70 investment projects of Russian corporations in Iraq is estimated at $20 billions” (V. Safronchuk. Israel: State Terror. Sovetskaya Rossiya, April 2, 2002).
“If you listen to Kasyanov, you could conclude that we don’t have any problems in our relations with Mongolia except the Mongolian debts to Russia. Kasyanov has suggested his favorite scheme, according to which Russian companies are to buy out their shares in joint ventures on account of the debt. The largest and the most promising enterprise within the framework of this plan is the copper complex Erdenet. Our oligarchs, in particular Potanin and his Norilsk Nickel, are showing an interest in it. However, a 51 per cent stake in it is owned by the government of Mongolia, which does not want to part with it, taking into account the fact that the complex produces 40 per cent of the country’s GDP” (Ibid.).
It is quite touching, don’t you agree, the care of Sovetskaya Rossiya for the right of “our” big bourgeoisie to buy up (for plunder) what amounts to a “state-forming” complex of a Third World country, Mongolia, thereby turning it into a colony.
“In Vietnam, the joint oil-producing venture Vietsovpetro, founded as far back as the Soviet times, is functioning successfully. The investments into this project were already paid back in 1996 and it gives the Russian treasury $300–500 million annually” (Ibid.).
It is necessary to remind the reader that these millions are not being extracted from under the earth, but produced by the work of Vietnamese workers.