Russia is becoming an energy powerhouse, having ended 2012 as one of the world's largest oil producers, according to reports and government figures cited by UPI. Russia unabashedly leverages energy exports to advance its foreign policy goals. The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that Russia leads the world in natural gas reserves and has the ninth-largest crude oil reserves.
Russian Energy Production At Post-Soviet High
UPDATED 15:26 PM EST, January 8, 2013