A brief introduction: Natural resources remain a crucial part of Russia’s economy and play a role in its projection of power abroad. Domestically, resource rents (profits) account for 10.7% of Russia’s GDP. As with most of the world’s economies, Russia’s services sector has grown to be its largest, now accounting for 62.3% of GDP. However, resources play an outsized role in maintaining the Russian state. According to Russia’s Federal Tax Service, Russia’s Mineral Extraction Tax accounts for 29.2% of government revenues. Russia’ Audit Chamber, taking into account a broader range of taxes and revenue sources, asserts that 47.8% of revenues come from the oil and gas industry alone.
Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources estimates that Russia’s current proven resources for which development permits have been issued are worth $873 billion dollars. Concentrating taxation on this large and relatively easy-to-track revenue source, Russia has been able to maintain relatively low corporate profit tax (15-20%) and personal income taxes (a 13% flat tax). As a strength abroad, much has been made of Russia’s use of resources as both a stick and carrot in its foreign policy.
Russia’s reliance on its resources have made them an obvious target for US sanctions. New deposits have indeed been slow to develop within Russia and sanctions have been cited as a possible cause. The Central Bank’s high interest rates, maintained as part of a program to keep inflation low, and now to help make the country “bulletproof” against outside geopolitical shocks, have also been cited. However, many Russian corporations including hydrocarbon majors Gazprom, Lukoil, and Surgutneftegaz have substantial and growing cash piles on hand – meaning that neither obstacle is likely insurmountable. Caution as Russian business awaits clarity on how the domestic political situation might shift after 2024, presumed to be Putin’s last year as president, may be another cause. Rapidly falling gas prices may be another.
Russia’s resources are not just oil and gas. Russia also has major deposits of metals and minerals, timber supplies, and vast amounts of land. While much of that land is under permafrost, Russia ranks #3 in arable land supplies and is rising is world rankings for agricultural producers.
The listing below takes a wide view of Russia’s resources, markets, and companies as well as covers some of the political implications of these topics.
Table of Contents:
1. Russian Resources and Related CompaniesA. Aluminum B. Diamonds and Other GemstonesC. GoldD. Iron, Coal, and SteelE. Oil and GasF. Paladium and Less Common MetalsG. Titanium and MagnesiumH. Uranium2. Agriculture in RussiaA. Crop and Livestock ProductionB. Agribusiness3. Timber in Russia
4. Freight Transport
5. Government Agencies
6. Business Unions
7. Labor Unions
8. Related Education Programs in Russia
9. More Information and News
10. Events and Other Links
I. Russian Resources and Related Companies
Please note that Russian resource markets have been incredibly dynamic in recent years. Company mergers and recent discoveries of new deposits have kept statistics, names, and ownership in constant flux. The following information is current as of at least 2019. Most resource statistics were taken from the 2019 edition of USGS mineral report.
Aluminum back to top
Aluminum is obtained from alumina, which itself is obtained from bauxite ore. Russia controls less than 2% of the world’s bauxite but produces just over 6% of all aluminum. This is possible in large part due to Russia’s relatively cheap supplies of electricity. Aluminum is used in food packaging, as well as in constructing commercial airliners, space shuttles, and fighter jets.
Rusal, Russia’s largest aluminum producing company, controls 5.86% of the world’s aluminum production (it also owns smelters in Africa). It is now the second largest aluminum producing company in the world.
Diamonds and Other Gemstones back to top
Russia is a world leader in both natural diamond and artificial diamond production. In volume, Russia controls 26.4% of the global gem diamond production and 30.2% of the global production of industrial grade diamonds.
Alrosa is Russia’s diamond monopoly. Federal, regional, and local governments own about 67% of the company, with the rest held by employees and other investors. The company is worth nearly 10 billion USD and declared some 1.21 billion USD in profits for 2018.
Lev Leviev is also worth mentioning. He assisted the former Soviet Union in setting up its diamond enterprises in the 1980s. He later took over several of them in Central Asia in the 90s. He has since become a major competitor for DeBeers and now controls as much as one third of the world’s diamond trade. Leviev distributes 30 million USD a year in the FSU to restore synagogues and “support the restoration of the Jewish way of life.” He now holds Israeli citizenship.
Gold back to top
Russia is considered the world’s largest unexplored gold territory, with many of its sizable deposits having been relatively recently discovered. Estimates vary quite widely, but Russia likely holds 25-40% of the world’s unmined gold supply. Russia is currently the third largest gold producer in the world and holds the fifth largest gold reserves. The Russian government is buying gold in enormous quantities in part to diversify its reserves away from the U.S. dollar in response to U.S. sanctions and the possibility that the U.S. might ban Russia from making dollar transactions. State policy makers have also prioritized development of the industry. Russian gold production has steadily grown since 2010 and recently overtook U.S. production. The gold industry is still fractured in Russia, but also consolidating.
Polyus is Russia’s market leader, regularly accounting for around a fourth of Russia’s production. It was formed when Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel spun off its holdings in gold. Both companies at the time were owned by Interros, controlled by Russian oligarchs Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov. Potanin sold his shares (37.9%) to Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov in 2009, who later bought a controlling stake. Kerimov has since handed control of the company to his son, Said Kerimov. Polyus is the largest Russian gold producer and holds a 20% stake in Gold Fields, one of Africa’s largest gold producers. Profit for 2018: 1.33 billion USD. The company is traded on the Russian, London, and New York stock exchanges and is worth about 11 billion USD.
Polymetal is Russia’s number two gold producer, but is also Russia’s top silver producer and the world’s third largest silver producer. It has investments in Russia and Kazakhstan. Profit for 2018: 355 million USD.
Petropavlovsk regularly ranks in Russia’s top five gold producers. Founded by English mining magnate Peter Hambro, this company is listed on the London Stock Exchange although it focuses nearly exclusively on developing Russian deposits. The company recorded a net profit of 29.5 million USD for 2018.
Iron, Coal, and Steel back to top
Russia may hold as much as 30% of the world’s iron. It is the world’s sixth largest coal producer and contains coal reserves second only to the US. Russia also produces 3.9% of the world’s steel. Because of the abundance of both iron and coal, Russian steel companies have been some of the world’s most profitable. They were a major contributor to bringing Russia’s economy back online after the collapse of the 1990s and were seen as bright spots for the development of corporate governance; they were taken over by capable managers who upgraded equipment and management to make the new businesses globally competitive. The crisis of the 2010 led to considerable disruption in the Russian steel industry, but companies have largely stabilized since 2016 and demand has been growing since. The companies below, like most steel companies worldwide create vertical integration by holding interests in all three resources: iron, coal, and steel.
Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) produced 24% of all Russian steel in 2017. Its gross profit for 2018 amounted to 4.4 billion USD. It is ranked first in Russia’s heavy-hitting market. Originally opened as a state-owned enterprise in 1931, the factory has recently turned into a leader in upgrading equipment and, since 2006, in acquiring assets abroad. It is controlled by Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin, a metallurgy expert who began his career as a coal mine mechanic. The company also owns steel rolling facilities in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Evraz is Russia’s #2 steel company, accounting for 20% of Russian steel production. 2018 recorded 2.5 billion USD in profit for 2018. Evraz accounts for almost 100% of rail production in Russia. Although nearly all staff including management are Russian, the company is registered in Luxembourg. It holds production assets in the USA, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy and Kazakhstan.
Severstal comes in at #3, with 19% of production for 2017. They posted just above two billion USD in profit in 2018. The company was led to its current status by Alexey Mordashov, who grew the company from the 1990s until he retired in 2015, but who remains a major shareholder. The company was involved in 2006 in a highly publicized merger deal with Arcelor, a Luxembourg-based steel company, which would have created the world’s largest steel producer. The deal fell through and Arcelor was then merged with the Indian company Mittal (already the world’s biggest steel company).
Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (Magnitka; MMK) is #4 accounted for 17% of production for 2017 and posted $1.3 billion in profits for 2018. The original factory was pronounced a “hero factory” of the Soviet Union for the steel it made for Soviet tanks. Today is completely held by private investors. In 2007, the company was planning to build a 1 billion USD steel plant in Ohio, but the economic crisis forced the company to put those plans on hold. It did purchase a plant in Turkey worth about 2 billion USD total.
Mechel is was once one of Russia’s major players in iron, coal, nickel, steel, and energy, valued at over $24 billion. However, a global drop in metals prices, global financial crises, and the company’s overextended debt caused major problems. The company recorded a net loss of $734 million in 2013 and lost most of its market capitalization. It has recovered to a profit of $192 million in 2018 and has concentrated its efforts on developing coal deposits – including the Elga deposit, the world’s largest untapped deposit of coal with an estimated 2.2 billion tons.
There are dozens of other steel companies in Russia.
Oil and Gas back to top
Russia holds 17 billion tons of oil and 48 billion cubic meters of gas. Russia holds the number one spot for world gas reserves and is the world’s second largest producer of dry natural gas, second to the US. The U.S. Geologic Survey estimates that Russia may hold as much as 25% of the world’s oil and Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer, just behind the US and Saudi Arabia. Oil and gas accounted for 52.9% of Russian exports in 2018.
Gazprom is Russia’s largest company overall and produces 12% of the world’s natural gas. Via its purchase of oil company Sibneft, now renamed Gazpromneft, it also controls substantial amounts of oil. Gazprom is the world’s forty-third largest company in terms of market capitalization, after revenues fell sharply as a result of the 2014 Economic Crisis. 2017 profits were declared at more than 11 billion USD. Gazprom has a monopoly on natural gas exports from Russia, but not on domestic production; both Lukoil and Rosneft also produce substantial amounts of natural gas.
Lukoil is Russia’s largest oil company (and ninth largest in the world). It owns wells, refineries, and a chain of gas stations which has been franchised into the US. Net income declared for 2017 amounted to nearly $2.7 billion. It is unique among Russian hydrocarbon companies in that the majority of its shares are held by minority stock holders.
Rosneft became a major player in Russian oil after its controversial takeover of Yukos’ main oil production unit. For 2018, total profits were reported at 2.48 billion USD. Rosneft is majority owned by the Russian government and made headlines for a planned 20 billion USD IPO in 2006, which was opposed by such figures as George Soros who said that if investors bought stock in Rosneft, it would be tantamount to approving of robbery (referring to the Yukos takeover). Rosneft revised its IPO to 10 billion (it actually made 10.4 billion, making it the fifth largest ever IPO at the time). As Erik Kraus, a Moscow financial analyst, forewarned, investors, knowing a profitable proposition when they see one, will “hold their noses” and buy.
Surgutneftegas is another of Russia’s largest publicly traded oil companies. With revenues of more than 15 billion per year, it’s also among the world’s largest companies. It has done fairly little investing in recent years, instead stockpiling more than $50 billion in liquid assets. Some have hypothisised that this is being used as a “private welfare fund” by the state. However, news that the company is planning to develop new projects with its cash pile caused the stock to soar in late 2019.
Article: Oil Reserves by Category (Wikipedia entry)
Paladium and Less Common Metalsback to top
Russia produces 9% of the world’s nickel (used in making stainless steel and the batteries used in many hybrid cars). Russia also produces 40% of the world’s palladium (used in everything from catalytic converters to electronics to dental equipment), 4% of the world’s cobalt (essential in the construction of space craft and turbine engines), 2% of all boron (used in the manufacture of glass and ceramic), 4.6% of all cadmium (household batteries), and 2.6% of all tungsten (light bulbs, electronics, heating equipment). Most interestingly, Russia holds the world’s fourth largest deposits of rare earth metals (electronics) but contributes only 2% towards global production. These would seem to be being held in reserve as their geopolitical importance rises.
Norilsk Nickel is one of Russia’s largest mining and metals companies. It controls the majority of Russia’s nickel, copper, and palladium production, and faces only fractured competition from within Russia. It produced 158,000 tons of nickel in 2018, although this represented a sharp drop from earlier years. Perhaps of even greater interest now is its palladium production as rising demand for electric cars and other green technologies mean that demand for palladium is far outstripping world production. Norilsk announced an ambitious investment program in 2019 that would approximately double production while reducing its pollution by up to 90%. Its stock jumped on the news. Norilsk Nickel is owned by the conglomerate Interros Holding, headed by Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin. Its fate has long been undecided, however.
TriArk Mining Co. is currently developing major deposits of rare earth metals which are large enough, it says, to account for 10% of global production. However, the project is facing major delays in Russia’s hard-to-develop Far East, which is mountainous and remote.
Solikamsk is another rising company increasingly mining rare earths.
Titanium and Magnesium back to top
About 22% of the world’s titanium sponge extraction occurs in Russia. Titanium sponge is the major source of titanium, one of the world’s strongest metals, which is used in military vehicles, arms manufacture, nuclear power stations, aircraft and shipbuilding, and drilling equipment. Russia also produces about 5.2% of the world’s magnesium, most often used to raise the melting point of alloys (but has widely varied uses in agriculture, medicine, industry, and chemistry).
VSMPO-Avisma is the world’s largest titanium company and controls all of Russia’s exported titanium. It accounted for 20% of the global market in 2016. VSMPO-Avisma also mines substantial amounts of magnesium. It is controlled by its management (which holds 50%+1 share in VSMPO-Avisma), while the Russian Technologies Corporation holds a blocking interest of 25% plus one share. It was formerly 51% held by Rosoboronexport.
Solikamsk is Russia’s number two magnesium producer – producing 17,600 tons per year, just behind VSMPO-Avisma’s 19,000.
Uranium back to top
TVEL is a private company, but wholly owned and managed by the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE). TVEL controls 100% of uranium mining in Russia, and 17% of global production. In Russia, this takes place mostly in the Chita Region by a TVEL subsidiary, the Priargunskiy Mining and Chemical Combine (PMCC). The company also holds interests in uranium mining and export in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Texsnabexport (Tenex) is registered as a private company but owned and managed by the FAAE. It controls 100% of uranium exports from Russia as well as supplies various materials to factories owned by the FAAE and commercially imports specialty goods such as medical, biotech, and scientific equipment and protective clothing.
II. Agriculture in Russia
Agriculture in Russia collapsed following the fall the USSR and long suffered from under investment and problematic legislation on land ownership which was originally simply carried over the USSR and amended to allow 5-year leases to be taken from the state. This discouraged private investment and, as a result, Russia imported much of its agricultural needs from as far away as America and Argentina. However, in recent years, Russia has seen a significant rise in agricultural production as long-standing problems have been resolved. This has been particularly the case since 2013, when subsidies for land purchases and purchases of agricultural machinery were introduced by the government. The value of farm machinery in Russia has risen by more than 200% between 2014-2019. In 2014, the government introduced counter-sanctions, blocking agricultural imports to Russia from countries that had put Crimea-related sanctions on Russia. This reduced competition and increased demand for Russian domestically-produced foods and Russia has since seen a steady rise in food exports and decline in imports as domestic production rises.
Crop and Livestock Production back to top
Russia produced 72.0 million tons of wheat in 2018, and on average, Russia is the third largest producer of wheat. Russia also ranks first in sugar beet production and is the world’s eighth largest sugar producer as of 2016. Russia is also ranked third in potato production in 2016, after China and India. However, in this category as well, Russia’s potential is far greater – a majority of those potatoes are still grown on small farms – often without machinery, fertilizer, or even extensive irrigation.
Agricultural production in Russia is highly fractured, spread among hundreds of corporations and farms.
Under the USSR, the beef industry was largely a subsect of the dairy industry. When the USSR collapsed, Russia’s relatively small production of beef also collapsed. In 2019, however, Russia ranked 10th in the world for beef production. In 2018, Russia ranked sixth in milk production. As much as 80% of Russia’s potential agricultural land is currently unused, meaning that the production potential is great.
Greenhouse vegetable production is also rapidly expanding. Supported by the Russian government since 2013 as part of import substitution and food security policies, they have been widely touted as a way to grow vegetables locally for Russia’s more distant locations. Although some large greenhouses have been built in places like Yakutsk, most development has occurred in regions such as Stravopol, Krasnoyarsk, and Belgorod – in warmer areas in Russia’s southwest that have been traditionally known for agricultural production. Russia has also seen a boom in prefabricated private greenhouses – which are now a common feature at Russian dachas.
While production of most crops and foodstuffs is growing in Russia, transport remains the main obstacle to greater development of the sector. Russian consumption is relatively flat, meaning that to profitably develop, export markets will have to be found. However, Russia lacks the rail capacity, storage capacity, and port capacity to support major growth in exports. Considerable investment is planned, however.
Agribusiness in Russia back to top
Most major agribusiness companies in Russia have been run by foreigners. However, especially since 2013, Russian companies are increasingly among Russia’s largest producers. Most are also looking to aggressively expand and/or increase market share or vertically integrate.
Sodrugestvo was Russia’s largest agroholding by revenue for 2018. It’s officially registered in Luxemburg, but has most of its production facilities in Russia. It produces food additives, protein concentrates, food oils, soy flours, and other specialty products.
Miratorg is Russia’s second largest corporate land holder and second largest agroholding by revenue as of 2018. It began as an importer of beef and pork from Latin America, but later started its own pig farms in Russia. As of 2019, Miratorg runs about 2.5 million acres with some 600,000 cows, assisted in part by ranch hands imported from America. It is Russia’s largest producer of beef, pork, and prepared dinners and ranks in the top 10 for poultry production. It has also aggressively vertically integrated itself and now runs everything from feedlots to slaughterhouses to its own chain of supermarkets and even restaurants. It has received extensive state support in the form of subsidies and soft loans and famously got its big break in 2009 when Vladimir Putin personally intervened to assure the company received a 21 billion ruble loan.
Prodimex is Russia’s largest corporate land holder with some 1,754,448 acres. The company, however, ranks only 19th in revenue. It is Russia’s largest sugar beet producer and also grows grain, soy, sunflowers, and corn.
Rusagro is Russia’s third largest corporate land holder and eighth largest agroholding by revenue. The company is heavily diversified and ranks among Russia’s top sugar beet producers, pork producers, cheese and butter producers, and producers of fats and oils.
Damate is Russia’s largest producer of turkey meat. Despite the fact that, as late as 2014, turkey was exceedingly rare in Russia and many Russians had never tried it, the company has grown to produce 88 thousand tons of turkey meat in 2018 in brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities. The company was originally specialized in dairy production and continues that line of business as well.
Ekokultura is Russia’s largest representative in greenhouse vegetable production. The company operates 511 acres of greenhouses as of 2019 and plans to expand to 2810 acres in Western Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan by 2023. They produce primarily tomatoes and cucumbers.
Black Earth Farming is a Swedish company that made considerable noise when it raised more than 115 million dollars from private investors for an ambitious expansion in the early days of expanding Russian agriculture. The company now controls about 246,000 hectares (over 1100 square miles) in southern Russia.
Russian Farms is a Russian group of companies chaired by a dual Russian-American citizen and which is attempting to bring modern machinery, processing, and distribution to Russian agriculture. The firm has received media coverage inside Russia when President Putin visited one of its dairy production units.
III. Timber in Russia
Russia contains the world’s largest forest reserves, roughly 60% more than Canada or Brazil, which are numbers two and three, respectively. As of 2017, however, Russia still ranks well behind many other countries, some that are just a fraction of its size, in production and export values. In 2007, one researcher estimated that Russia may be operating at as little as 10% of its sustainable capacity. Problems affecting the industry have typically included a lack of transport and processing infrastructure in wooded areas and large-scale, illegal timber harvesting and export, most often across Russia’s porous border with China.
According to Forest Industry Magazine, revenues of the top 50 producers of forest products rose by a collective 32% between 2017-2018. Only eight of those within that rating had revenues of less than one billion rubles ($15.5 million).
Ilim Group is by far Russia’s largest forest products company by revenue. It produces a range of products, but is largely specialized in pulp. Profits for 2018 totaled about a half billion dollars.
Mondigroup is Russia’s second largest forest products company by revenue. It recently saw profits soar when it specialized in sustainable packaging solutions. Profits for 2018 totaled about 300 million dollars.
Segezha Group ranks as Russia’s third largest forest products company by revenue. It produces a range of products including packaging, plywood, sawn timber, and kit homes. Profits for 2018 totaled about 28 million dollars.
IV. Freight Transport
Gazprom operates the world’s largest gas pipeline network, known as The United Gas Transmission System. It includes the controversial Blue Stream pipeline in the Black Sea and the equally controversial Nord Stream (formerly known as North European Gas Pipeline),which has greatly angered Poland for bypassing its territory, as well as investments in the pipelines of other countries.
Caspian Pipeline Consortium is owned by Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman, and private investors. Its one pipeline carries crude oil from Tengiz, Kazakhstan to the Russian port of Novorossiysk.
Russian Railways is Russia’s state-owned railway monopoly and ships most of Russia’s non-hydrocarbon exports. It is also involved in most major resource developments, providing transport for both hydrocarbon and mineral resources. The company earned approximately 2.39 billion USD in profits for 2018.
Many of Russia’s major resource producers have also invested in railcar-owning companies in an attempt to guarantee themselves railcar space. However, Russia faces a shortage of railcars as Russian industry cannot produce them fast enough and has not even been able to keep up with demands for spare parts. Even if Russia finds investment to increase production, it will still have to contend with rail line capacity issues. Russia operates the world’s third largest rail system, but it often connects people and resources separated by exceptionally large distances, making investment more difficult and less profitable than in other countries.
Sovcomflot is Russia’s largest shipping company and is specialized in shipping energy products. Originally a part of the Soviet navy, it was privatized in 1988 but remains majority owned by the state. It operates a total of 59 ships and has another 11, including two LNG (liquefied natural gas) tankers, on order.
Prisco is another ship-owning companies serving Russian freight markets.
V. Government Agencies
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is charged with managing the country’s natural resources and protecting the environment.
The Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency (Rosnedra) grants subsoil use (mining) licenses in conjunction with regional authorities and regulates subsoil activities. The agency funds and manages scientific studies, expeditions, and appraises the worth of subsoil resources.
The Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service (Rosprirodnadzor) oversees geological surveys, exploitation and protection of natural resources, and compliance with Russian and international law. It may inspect enterprises and suggest government policies but may not charge for its services or create regulations.
Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) – suggests and implements state policy and manages state funds and property that pertain to “mechanical engineering, metallurgical, chemical, petrochemical, biotech, medical, light industry, timber, pulp-and-paper, woodworking, aviation, ship-building, electronics, radio, communications, ammunition and speciality chemistry, chemical disarmament, and conventional arms.”
The Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology (Rosstandart) is a federal executive body rendering state services and administering state property in the fields of technical regulations and metrology. The agency licenses those that manufacture and maintain measurement instrumentation. It also implements state regulations on metrology.
ROSATOM evolved from the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR. It is now a state-controlled corporate conglomerate “promoting international cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear power.” It regulates Russia’s nuclear energy complex, is a major purchaser and supplier of Uranium internationally and is responsible “for meeting Russia’s commitments in the nuclear industry with a specific focus on international nuclear non-proliferation effort.” For more information, see this Wikipedia article.
The State Fund of Precious Metals and Stones for Securing, Issuing, and Utilizing Precious Metals and Stones (Gokhran), a division of the Ministry of Finance, is responsible for the government reserves of precious metals and stones. It is a major purchaser of raw diamonds and gold, and a major supplier to jewelry makers and gem finishers.
VI. Business Unions
The International Metallurgists Union is a Russia-based organization uniting metal producers from throughout the former Soviet Union and a few from other countries as well (mostly Germany). The union seeks to lobby government policy as well as encourage efficient management of and cooperation between those involved in the production of metal.
Russian Union of Metal and Steel Suppliers is, in large part, a marketing organization seeking to improve the position of Russian metals at home and abroad and to educate metal producers in marketing and sales.
RosAgroMash is a union of Russia’s producers of agricultural machinery.
Several professional unions unite various agricultural sectors in Russia including: Russian Grain Union; Union of Russian Sugar Producers; Russian Dairy Union; Union of Russian Brewers; Russian Meat Union.
VII. Labor Unions
Russia’s Labor Union of Coal Miners represents coal miners in Russia’s major coal-producing regions. Coal miners once had one of the strongest unions under the USSR and enjoyed high wages and wide benefits throughout the Soviet era. The miners’ strikes in 1989 and 1991 proved to be important events in what would eventually be the complete dissolution of the USSR. In recent years, however, as several mines in unprofitable areas have gone bankrupt, and new mines are more automated, membership in coal miner’s unions has plummeted as has the unions’ political clout.
Russian Union of Metal Workers and Miners has been around since Tsarist times. They were last featured in the international media when contract talks with Norilsk Nickel failed and 57 of its members went on a hunger strike until the government stepped in to restart the negotiations.
Russian Oil, Gas, and Construction Workers Union is Russia’s largest with 1.3 million members. It is also one of the quietest, with no major contract disputes or strikes in recent history.
VIII. More Information and News
Neftegaz.ru delivers comprehensive information on all aspects of the oil and gas industry.
Eurasian Energy Analysis is a blog focused on oil and gas – as well as their political connections.
SteelOnTheNet.com offers substantial information about the world steel industry and markets.
Russian Jewelers Guild offers a free news service on precious metals and stones.
The National Threat Initiative is an organization devoted to reducing the threat of nuclear attacks. As part of this effort, they provide one of the most informative websites about the world uranium market. Note that the website is available in two languages: Russian and English!
The Aluminum Association delivers a free news service, a monthly online publication, and market analysis for the aluminum industry.
X. Events and Other Links
International Oil and Gas Week is an annual, week long series of presentations and speeches about the Russian market and Russia’s place in international markets. Hosted by RosCon, a major Russian consulting firm for oil, gas, mining, and technology firms.
Metal-Expo is an event hosted in Russia that attracts hundreds of metals companies from all over the world every year.
Mining World is a series of trade shows in Russia, Central Asia, and China where mining equipment is showcased.
Agro Greenhouse Complexes is an annual trade show focusing on Russia’s growing market for greenhouses.
Russian and CIS Metals and Mining Week is organized yearly in Moscow by Adam Smith Conferences.
International Jewelry Exibition JUNWEX is Russia’s biggest business association at the Russian jewelry market, organizing major exhibitions of jewelry and gemstones in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
Home and Abraod Scholars Greg Tracey and Tanya Tanyarattinan contributed to updating this resource in 2019.