This claim, supported by many, is far from accurate.
The Australian-based website The Conversation has presented its own opinion of the issue.
The website reviewed Russia’s natural reserves and came to the conclusion that it is not only oil and gas that Russia is rich in, but other energy resources as well.
“In truth, Russia has been building an altogether new kind of energy state, one with more global influence than even OPEC. A fundamental reason is Russian prominence in multiple energy domains, especially oil, gas, coal and nuclear power,” it says.
“Like it or not, we must accept that the country is far richer in hydrocarbon resources than previously thought,” the website says.
“There remain the vast resources in Russia’s Arctic to be explored, plus future potential in the Caspian Sea, North Caucasus, and parts of East Siberia and Sakhalin. This does not include the enormous shale oil/gas potential in the West Siberian Basin,” it estimates.
Russian oil and gas have become vital commodities in the majority of the world’s most advanced economies and reach far wider geographically than typically considered.
“Russia’s current export clients are in Europe, yet they are increasingly in East Asia, specifically China, Japan, and South Korea. European nations depend on Russia for an average of 30 percent of their hydrocarbons, especially gas. Nearly half these nations (including Germany) are in the range of 40 percent to 100 percent,” the outlet says.
Russia has the second largest coal reserves in the world, second only to those in the US, equaling 19% of the world's total and is the world's third largest coal exporter, after Indonesia and Australia.
“As with oil and gas, these exports go to Europe and East Asia, but in this case the volume going to China, Japan and South Korea is over 40 percent and growing. Where import demand in China has fallen, it has been rising in India, South Korea, Turkey and a number of countries in Southeast Asia,” the outlet says.
“The point is that Russia has proven itself able to compete for a large share of this new, expanding global market,” the website says, noting that among Russia’s customers are not only “members of the nuclear power (NP) club”, but non-member states with lots of potential.
Besides, the magazine adds, “Russia is geographically positioned very well to deliver its exports both by sea and rail to major customers west and east.”
The outlet reaches the conclusion that “the importance of Russia as a provider of both nuclear technology and fuel will only grow, giving Moscow a robust presence in many parts of the developing world that the Soviet Union never achieved.”