Differing Priorities: the Lesson of the Siberian Pipeline Drama

  • Geoffrey Lee Williams
  • Alan Lee Williams


United States policy regarding the building of the Siberian pipeline in 1981–82 was indubitably dominated by East—West defence considerations. However, the situation was primarily an economic one for the two major participants: the Soviet Union and parts of Western Europe. In this discussion we briefly review the facts concerning the three main actors in the Siberian pipeline crisis; the Soviet Union, Western Europe and the United States, examine what perceived defence needs dictated the United States policy reaction, and evaluate the effectiveness of these policies. Some concluding remarks will generalize and consider the broader implications raised for the Western alliance, and, for the European powers in particular, by this particular drama in view of its importance vis-à-vis the security interests of Western Europe.


Economic Sanction Security Interest American Policy Western Technology United States Policy 
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  1. 3.
    Stan Woods, Pipeline Politics: the Allies at Odds (Centre for Defence Studies, 1983) p. 27.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Jonathan Stern, Soviet Natural Gas Development to the 1990’s (London, 1983) pp. 179–180.Google Scholar
  3. 17.
    Gavin Kennedy, Defence Economics (London: Duckworth, 1983) pp. 177–9.Google Scholar

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© Geoffrey Lee Williams and Alan Lee Williams 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Lee Williams
  • Alan Lee Williams

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