This paper analyses progress and obstacles to gas sector reform in the most important CIS-countries (Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan), taking a political economy perspective. This reform process is embedded in a very specific post-Soviet institutional framework stemming from the legacy of socialism. Firstly, we review the evolution of the gas sector for the period 1992-1998. The paper then identifies the post-Soviet specifics of gas sector restructuring, to which any reform strategy and technical assistance have to be adapted. We derive concrete, process-oriented policy conclusions to accelerate the reform process in a market-oriented way. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the perspectives of gas sector restructuring in this geopolitically strategic area of the world.