Russia has lately launched a pipeline called the "Friendhip” or "Druzhba” Pipeline to have the world’s longest pipeline, conveying Russian crude to Europe.
To make up for its old fields, the country has started to buy Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan oil and mix it with its own to be able to sell it in Europe as Urals.
It has also started negotiations with Iran, proposing the country to launch a reverse swap pipeline to convey its southern oil to the Caspian Sea, so that Russian tankers would be able to take it to nearby oil terminals.
Analysts say that the proposal is motivated first by the favorable market Urals has found in Europe, and second by the difference in price Urals has to Caspian Sea crude.
Therefore if Urals maintains its European market, it is expected that Russia will increase its import from Caspian Sea countries.
On the other side, if the traditional, strategic Mediterranean market is deprived of Iranian crude for longer, due to Russia’s comprehensive programs to export more Urals to Europe, Iran will be practically unable to retrieve the traditional market.