A worker does the preparation work for welding the first section of the South Stream pipeline in Anapa, Russia, on Dec. 7, 2012, when Russian energy giant Gazprom was due to launch the construction of the pipeline, which is expected to be delivering up to 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe annually, starting in 2015. (Associated Press)
Putin gas muscle/Russian energy Gazprom Russian/Ukraine
(CartoonArts International/The New York Times Syndicate/File)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and Gazprom chief Alexei Miller visit the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. Mr. Putin expressed concern about the country's declining oil production and said the sector has reached a "critical juncture."