1. Oil and gas account for about a quarter of Russian gdp, about half of the export earnings, and about a third of government revenues.
2. Much of the Russian energy supply goes toward heating very cold places.
3. Almost 40 million Russians work and live in cities where the average January temperatures range from minus 15 Centigrade to minus 45 Centigrade.
4. Costs of living in Siberia are about four times higher than in the rest of Russia.
5. The average wage in Siberia is about 1/12 that of Moscow, and most Siberians cannot pay their energy bills.
6. There are restrictions on settlement in Moscow, and a general difficulty of finding jobs.
7. Many of the Siberian cities would never have been developed, had it not been for communist planning.
From today’s Financial Times.
Apparently this is why Russia cannot so easily deregulate its energy market and allow prices to rise to world market levels. Siberia would move further into bankruptcy.