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CIRL has on-going relationships with scholars working on similar issues around the world - for example, in Australia, the U.S., Mexico, Western Europe and Russia. CIRL also works closely with people in non-governmental organisations, government and private industry on questions of mutual concern and interest. In addition to maintaining such contacts, the Institute has been actively engaged in work abroad and has been involved as a consultant on natural resources law and policy in a number of countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Kyrgyzstan and the United States. By far the most significant international programs carried out by the Institute, however, are those within the Russian Federation, where the Institute has been active since 1992.

CIRL in Russia

In 1992 CIRL was asked to join a group of Canadian government agencies to consult with the Ministry of Energy (then, the Ministry of Fuel and Energy) of the Russian Federation on new legislation and administrative practices for the regulation of Russia's oil and gas resources. As a result of these consultations, CIRL was charged with the responsibility of organizing two series of seminars - on federalism and inter-governmental relations in the oil and gas sector and the other on the integration of environmental constraints and aboriginal peoples' interests with government regulation of the oil and gas sector. During the years 1993-1996, these seminars were offered in the following places: Kaliningrad, Arkhangelsk, Naryan Mar, Ukhta, Moscow, Surgut, Noyabrsk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Izhevsk, and Djugba.

The next phase of CIRL's work in Russia (1997-2001) involved collaborative work on more analytical issues. Projects undertaken during these years addressed such issues as how to assess the economic viability of oil and gas projects in Russia, and whether it would be advantageous for Russia to allow companies broader rights to sell or trade state-issued licences. In the later years of this period, an analysis was made of the economic viability of developing the natural gas reserves on the western side of the Kamchatka peninsula. Activities during the years 1997-2001 took place in Arkhangelsk, Moscow, Perm, Gelendzhik, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Syktyvkar, in the Komi Republic.

From 2000 to 2006, CIRL and the Ministry of Energy, together with another Canadian educational institution - the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology - carried out a joint project, consisting of a series of short-term courses on topics of pressing interest to the Russian energy sector. These included: 1) Building Good Community-Company Relations, 2) Corporate Governance, 3) Inter-governmental Relations in the Energy Sector and 4) the Negotiation and Implementation of Agreements. The courses were presented in seminar form once or twice a year in each of the following Russian cities: Moscow, Tyumen, Samara, St. Petersburg and Tomsk.

Since 2006, the Institute's activities in Russia have involved collaboration with Russian universities in the teaching of natural resources law and policy, especially at the graduate level.