Gazprom’s company song is probably the only example of a company in a safety-conscious industry that encourages alcohol consumption. The video is certainly impressive, with its shots of some tough-looking Siberian operations and the spectacular Moscow head office, even if the singer leaves something to be desired in the glamour stakes. It is exactly what you need to cheer you up at a time when things haven’t been going too well with one of your key suppliers.
But is that a note of uncertainty in there? Look at these lyrics:
Let’s drink to you, let’s drink to us, let’s drink to all the Russian gas, that it never comes to an end, though it’s so hard to obtain
Could that be an implicit admission that under-investment in Russia’s gas fields and pipeline network is threatening future supplies? Perhaps it is.
There are some rather tendentious claims in the song, too:
All your troubles will recede, if Gazprom people are nearby
That is not a sentiment to be shared in Ukraine or Bulgaria.
This amazing performance by the wonderfully-title Academic Song and Dance Ensemble of the Moscow Military District has a much less emollient message:
Europe also has every day problems, American special forces are already there. But we will just smile: it’s their own business. And in the night we’ll cut the gas for Europe too!
The audience reaction, incidentally, is ecstatic.
At the other end of the pipe, Gazprom’s staid anthem was outdone last month by Ukraine’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, from a woman describing herself as “the anti-crisis girl”. The message was not quite explicit, but surely those are sections of gas pipe that the dancers are performing in? While the lyrics may have said something about “be my Valentine”, the subtext was clear, especially as the song was being performed in Moscow: “Don’t turn our gas off again, please!”