Maciej Raś, 7 (Inter)dependence? Political Implications of Russia-EU Energy Relations in:

Wolfram Hilz, Rafal Ulatowski (ed.)

Energy Policy in Europe, page 95 - 108

Internal Dimensions and External Perspectives

1. Edition 2019, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4388-2, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7373-5,

Series: Bonner Studien zum globalen Wandel, vol. 25

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
95 7 (Inter)dependence? Political Implications of Russia-EU Energy Relations Maciej Ra 1 Introduction Energy relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) play a very important role not only in the context of economy. They largely shape political relations of those partners as well. The Russia-EU energy cooperation has significant impact on mutual interactions amid the EU member states and, in a broader sense, within the Western community. The Russian Federation’s energy policy is perceived as the main tool for the enrichment of the state and its elites, as well as a relatively effective political instrument of Russia’s foreign policy. The author strives to analyze political dimension of the Russia-EU energy dialogue, emphasizing the above hypotheses. He also tries to explain why the Russian Federation is able to use primary energy sources, exported by the country, to achieve political objectives in its relations with the EU and individual EU member states, despite a huge gap in social-economic potential in favor of the European Union. The main research questions are: (a) How does the Kremlin use its energy potential to reduce diversification of potentials between Russia and the European Union? 96 (b) In which kind of sense Russia-EU energy dialogue has ‘infected’ political relations between those partners? (c) What are political implications of the Russian Federation’s energy strategy towards the EU? The article is mostly based on analyses of official documents, especially those that are part of the Russian Federation’s energy policy doctrine,1 chosen monographs and studies concerning Russia’s energy policy and its relations with the European Union in the field of energy,2 as well as the sources in which a general outline of Russia- EU political relations was examined.3 These kinds of sources are 1 See Government of Russian Federation: Energy Strategy of Russia until 2030, Moscow, 2009, [Energetitcheskaya strategiya Rossii na period do 2030 goda], available at: (25 January 2019). 2 The author referred to the views (unless otherwise indicated in the footnotes) presented above all in the following sources: Aron, Leon: The Political Economy of Russian Oil and Gas, in: Russian Outlook, American Enterprise Institute, Washington D.C., 2013; Dellecker, Adrian & Gomart, Thomas (eds.): Russian Energy Security and Foreign Policy, 1st ed., Abingdon/New York, 2011; Korteweg, Rem: Energy as a Tool of Foreign Policy of Authoritarian States, in particular Russia, Policy Department for External Relations of the European Parliament, Brussels, 2018; Godzimirski, Jakub et al.: Energy Security in the Baltic Sea Region: Regional Coordination and Management of Interdependencies, Vilnius, 2015; Grigas, Agnia: The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas, Cambridge, 2017; Kapitonov, Ivan: Peculiarities of Applying the Theory of International Business by Russian Oil and Gas Companies, in: Space and Culture (India), Eurasia Focussed Themed Issue, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2018, pp. 5-14; Proni ska, Kamila: Bezpiecze stwo energetyczne w stosunkach UE-Rosja, Warszawa, 2012; Turksen, Umut: EU Energy Relations with Russia. Solidarity and the Rule of Law, Abingdon/New York, 2018. 3 See Biele , Stanis aw et al. (eds.): Otnosheniya Rossii i Yevropeyskogo Soyuza, Sankt Petersburg, 2012; Casier, Tom: From Logic of Competition to Conflict: Understanding the Dynamics of EU-Russia Relations, in: Contemporary Politics, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2016, pp. 376-394; Casier, Tom & DeBardeleben, Joan (eds.): EU-Russia Relations in Crisis: Understanding Diverging Perceptions, Milton Park, Abingdon/New York, 2018; David, Maxine & Romanova, Tatiana (eds.): Modernisation in EU-Russian Relations: Past, Present and Future, Abingdon/New York, 2016; Khudoley, Konstantin: Russia and the European Union: The Present Rift and Chances for Future Reconciliation, in: Stosunki Miedzynarodowe/International Relations, St. Petersburg, No. 2, 2016, pp. 195-213; Liik, Kadri: Winning the Normative War with Russia: An EU-Russia Power Audit, ECFR-Policy Brief, 21 May 2018; Maass, Anna-Sophie: EU-Russia Relations, 1999-2015: From Courtship to Confrontation, Abingdon/New York, 2017; Ra , Maciej: Ewolucja polityki 97 supplemented by other various publications, such as different reports and commentaries or sources of statistical data, related to the main topic of the paper. 2 Asymmetry of potentials between the European Union and the Russian Federation There is a significant difference of potentials between the European Union and Russia. Most generally speaking, the EU can be described as one of the most developed parts of the world – together with the Anglo-Saxon part of North America (the USA and Canada), Japan, South Korea, or Australia. The EU, as a whole, is not only the second largest economy in the world – just after the US,4 but also a ‘dreamland’ in the context of living standards for average citizens. According to the International Monetary Fund’s and the World Bank’s statistics, the Russian Federation is estimated to be a much smaller economy in comparison to the EU – only a little bit bigger than the Spanish one, but smaller than the Italian.5 Russia can be also described as significantly poorer in terms of living standards. The gap between the EU and Russia is aggravated by a relatively (in comparison to the EU) low level of innovations, not to mention problems with corruption, transparency of business, oligarchisation of the economy, the quality of management or lower corporate culture.6 EU member states even spend more money, zagranicznej Rosji wobec Stanów Zjednoczonych i Europy Zachodniej w latach 1991-2001, Warszawa, 2005. 4 The value of GDP was more than 17,3 billion USD in 2017 according to the IMF data (International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2018: Nominal GDP list of countries. Data for the year 2017, available at: (1 March 2019). 5 Italy and Spain are reported as – respectively – the fourth and the fifth economies ‘inside’ the EU, taking into consideration also the UK. See International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook Database, April 2018: Nominal GDP List of Countries. Data for the year 2017, available at: https:// (10 March 2019); The World Bank: World Development Indicators Database – GDP at Market Prices (current US$), aspx?source=2&country=&series=NY.GDP.MKTP.CD&period= (10 March 2019). 6 On the current, real state of Russia’s economy and its future prospects at the macro level see Bondar, Vadim & Yevgeniy Kogan: “Zakontchit’sya kak v 98 counting their total expenses together, on the military than Russia. Therefore, the Kremlin prefers to develop bilateral relations with individual member states of the EU than with institutions representing the entire community. The Russian Federation has often been described as a two-dimensional power, taking into consideration its strategic nuclear potential, that allows Russia to counterbalance US strategic capabilities, and natural resources. Crude oil and natural gas, in particular, are the most important assets (or even the only, despite the arms export) helping Russia to play a relatively significant role in the world’s economy. Russia‘s share in global oil exports is about 12-13%, but in natural gas similar indicators even exceed 20%.7 Production of fuels and other natural resources is also a main source of accumulation of capital in Russia. It means that the energy sector plays a crucial role in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Russian market and export of capital from Russia abroad. Therefore, from the Kremlin’s point of view, energy policy is an effective tool not only for achieving economic, but also political objectives at the international arena. Moreover, energy policy can be treated either as a ‘carrot’ – to cause positive reactions of foreign actors and attract ‘friends’, or ‘stick’ – to ‘punish’ (with higher prices, i.e.) those, whose policy is perceived negatively in Moscow. Despite more than a quarter of a century of implementing a capitalist, free-market economy, Russia’s economy is still dominated by giant corporations connected with the energy sector (mining, processing, transmission and distribution of fossil fuels and derivative products, production and transmission of electricity, the nuclear energy sector) or production of other raw materials. Shipping of crude oil and fuels, as well as natural gas, is the most important position in the Russian export, generating the largest revenues to Russia’s budget. The Russian Federation’s development and – in a broader sense – the state’s capabilities are to a large extent dependent on 90-ye: desiatki milionov ludey ostanutsya bez kuska khleba” (interview with prof. Yevgeniy Kogan), in: Biznes Online, 11 January 2019, available at: (25 January 2019). 7 See Russia Remains the World‘s Largest Exporter of Energy Resources, in: Russian Energy Week, 20 June 2018, available at: https://rusenergyweek. com/en/news/rossija-ostanetsja-krupnejshim-mirovym-eksporterom-energore sursov/ (10 March 2019). 99 prices of energy resources on the world’s market. And the most important customer remains the EU. In other words, a little bit ironically, EU member-states can be featured as the hugest, although indirect, contributors to the Kremlin’s budget. Moreover, declining primary energy production in the EU, using bituminous coal, lignite, oil, natural gas, and recently nuclear energy, results in a situation in which the EU’s demand is increasingly dependent on primary energy import. The largest net importers of primary energy are basically the EU member states with the largest population, with the exception of Poland (where there still are indigenous coal reserves). In recent years, the origin of energy imported by the EU-28 has partly changed, although Russia has maintained its position as the main supplier of crude oil and natural gas (despite some decrease in share in recent years8) and came first among suppliers of solid fuels. The share of Russian energy in the imports of EU members amounted in 2017 to: oil 30.8%, gas 34.1%, coal 29.5%.9 It is worth recalling the obvious fact that the Russian Federation is a single, although federative state, while the European Union remains an intergovernmental organization consistent of 2710 sovereign entities. Despite the single market’s regulations in the EU, the decisionmaking process is much more complicated than in case of one state. Moreover, the EU’s common energy policy has not been launched yet. The community’s energy policy is still based on sovereign energy policies in fact. Contradicting interests of EU member states and their energy sectors and companies play a significant role in shaping the European energy market, hindering its further integration, as well as the implementation of common goals and policies towards third parties. Taking into consideration above-mentioned factors, and despite a huge gap in potentials between Russia and the EU, it should be highlighted that the energy sector allows the Russian Federation to 8 The main competitors of Russia’s Gazprom on the European natural gas market are: Norway, Algeria and suppliers of liquefied natural gas – LNG (among them, a growing role of the suppliers from the US is noticeable). 9 See Wyganowski, Jan: Import surowców energetycznych. Ro nie uzale nienie UE, in: Energia-Gigawat, No. 10, 2017. 10 ‘Minus’ the UK after Brexit. 100 play a role as a significant partner of the EU, even in ‘times of trouble’ since the Ukrainian conflict has started in 2014 and the West imposed its sanctions on Russia. Russia’s ‘fuel and energy complex’, as it is called there, builds its economic potential to a great extent, as well as it equips the Kremlin with quite effective instruments of foreign policy. Especially, if the instruments are implemented in bilateral relations with individual member states of the Union. It also allows the Russian Federation to undermine the political unity of the European Union and, in a wider spectrum, cohesion of the West. That is one of the main aims of the Kremlin, striving to balance the West’s influence in the international system (in the post-Soviet area, in particular) and constructing a polycentric order at the global scale, and a ‘bipolar’ (managed by the West and Russia) order in the regional (European) dimension. At the same time, the Russian Federation and its energy companies need Western partners, investments and technologies to modernize the country and the energy sector, as well as to expand the production and export of fuels. 3 Political dimension of Russia-EU energy dialogue It’s impossible to fully discuss the topic of the Russia-EU energy dialogue – as a part of broader economic cooperation – and its political implications in frames of the paper. However, some aspects of the problem are worth to underline undoubtedly. The Russian Federation is the EU’s fourth largest trading partner and the Union is Russia’s biggest trading partner.11 On the one hand, the largest value in EU exports to Russia are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, medicines and other manufactured products. The EU is also the biggest investor in Russia. Three quarters of FDI stocks in Russia come from EU members. On the other hand, Russia mostly sells primary energy carriers to the EU: crude and refined oil and natural gas.12 According to the data published by Eurostat in 11 The EU-Russia trade has continuously decreased since 2012, dropping by 44% between 2012 and 2016 from € 339 billion in 2012 to € 191 billion in 2016. See European Commission: Countries and Regions. Russia, available at: (16 Ap ril 2019). 12 See ibid. 101 October 2018, the share of imports from Russia is less than 8% of the total value of EU imports.13 The energy dialogue between the Russian Federation and the European Union is a significant part of the economic cooperation between those partners. The dialogue includes trading energy raw materials and processed fuels, as well as electricity and nuclear energy. In case of imports from Russia to the EU, the sale of Russian energy resources definitely dominates. It also creates a deficit in EU trade in goods with Russia, in opposite to trade in services or foreign direct investments. In economic terms, two groups of EU member states are the most important for the Russian Federation in the context of the energy dialogue: Post-socialists countries (so called ‘new Europe’): former members of the Soviet block got used to be dependent on supplies from the East during the Cold War and they are still dependent on Russia’s energy resources to some, sometimes large, extent;14 Western European ‘tycoons’ (‘old Europe’ economic leaders of the EU): they are ‘valuable’ not only as consumers of Russian oil and gas (although their demand is growing in that area), but also, or sometimes mostly, as the most influential decisive powers among the EU members with the most serious impact on decision-making processes at the EU institutional level. Therefore, the latter group of states is perceived as the most significant partners in the field of the energy dialogue in Russia. From the Kremlin´s point of view, Germany is an undisputed leader in that case: either as important consumer, or economic and political leader of the EU, as well as the leader of the EU’s ‘Eastern dimension’. 13 See Eurostat: Statistics. International Trade in Goods, available at: https:// in_goods (25 January 2019). 14 It is especially notice worthy in the context of dependency on natural gas supplies. Some of the EU member states belong to the most dependent on natural gas delivered from Russia: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. See: Jak bardzo Europa jest uzale niona od gazu z Rosji?, in:, 29 October 2015, available at:,duze-zdjecie,1, jak-bardzo-europa-jest-uzalezniona-od-gazu-z-rosji-mapa.html (25 January 2019). 102 Moreover, the opinion of Berlin has a huge impact on shaping and interpretation of the EU’s competition policy, in the context of the third energy package, in particular.15 However, apart from its economic dimension, the Russia-EU energy dialogue has exceptionally significant influence on the political relations between the parties. It results not only from a quite obvious ‘strategic’ importance of the energy sector. This is also due to the way in which the Kremlin conducts its energy policy, using hydrocarbons as means of political pressure or of building its own political attractiveness. The current situation on the EU energy market creates favorable conditions for Russia’s expansion, especially in the natural gas sector. A significant part of EU countries, including Germany as the largest economy, requires increased supply of gas at appropriate prices to maintain a certain level of development and/or to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Germany, for instance, cannot switch to renewable energy without Russian gas.16 According to Gazprom, in the long term, the EU will need new portions of gas from certain suppliers and the Nord Stream pipeline is a ‘lifeline for the European energy supply’17. In the meantime, as it resulted from the Stanford Bernstein analysis developed in 2015, the EU’s freeing from a dependence on Russian primary energy carriers would cost about 200 billion USD and would require the construction of new delivery routes.18 Moreover, Germany’s decision to close all nuclear and coal-fired power plants, as well as to oppose the extraction of shale raw materials, reduces Europe’s chances of becoming independent from Russian energy resources. 15 It has been clearly visible in case of political disputes over implementation of competition policy’s rules to the project Nord Stream 2, when Germany has tried to block or reduce such attempts. 16 Russian natural gas has to be used as a “painless” and relatively cheap “transition” instrument to a low-carbon economy based on a renewable energy in 80% in 2050. 17 Nord Stream AG: Secure Energy for Europe. The Nord Stream Pipeline Project 2005-2012, Moscow, 2014, p. 77, available at: https://www.nord-stream. com/media/documents/pdf/en/2014/04/secure-energy-for-europe-full-version _245_20140417.pdf (10 March 2019). 18 See Wyganowski, Jan: Import surowców energetycznych. Ro nie uzale nienie UE, in: Energia-Gigawat, No. 10, 2017. 103 From a political perspective, another two groups can be distinguished among the EU member states, according to their perception of possible chances and risks related to the energy dialogue with Russia: Countries that would like to increase their sovereignty, including the independence from Russia in the energy sector: they put stress either on diversification of sources of supplies, or developing interconnectors with other EU members, being ready to pay higher price for the process; that group strongly opts for launching a common energy policy of the Union; Poland is the bright example of such a country, striving to import LNG from the US and Qatar, building new gas pipeline from Norway, blocking new possible routes of deliveries from Russia to the EU, creating the ‘energy union’ in the EU, or supporting other EU and non-EU (Ukraine, firstly) countries in the context; States that express their readiness to develop energy relations with Russia ‘as usual’, not being dependent on supplies from Eastern Europe so much, or not feeling endangered by the Russian Federation in terms of their energy security. It should be also noted that analyzing the energy dialogue has been seriously ‘infected’ by sharp conflict between the West and Russia that appeared in 2014 as a result of the annexation of Crimea and further Russian international activity aimed at rivalry with the Western community.19 The EU has imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation, including transfers of some technologies to Russia (it interrupts exploration of new energy sources, as well as modernization of the energy sector as a whole). Political tensions have undermined trust between both parts to a large extent, that had not been the best anyway. Rivalry in the information space between the West and Russia has become an everyday reality and Western political elites have accused the Kremlin of interfering democratic pro- 19 According to Andrea Prontera, “[…] the tensions between Russia and the EU, aggravated by the annexation of the Crimea, are undermining their historical partnership on energy […]” Prontera, Andrea: The New Politics of Energy Security in the European Union and Beyond: States, Markets, Institutions, Abingdon/New York, 2017, p. 1. 104 cesses in their countries, including support that has been given to populist and far-right groupings.20 Moreover, the US has influenced the European natural gas market, offering its LNG that is going to be delivered through gas terminals located in Poland and Croatia to Central and Eastern Europe. The US would like Germany to also buy its LNG, as well as to reduce energy cooperation with the Russian Federation – this means to abandon Nord Stream 2. US interference has started being treated as a serious threat for Russia’s interests in the European energy market, but it has also provoked discrepancies among some of EU member states (i.e. between Poland and Germany). Therefore, we have been dealing with the state of the EU-Russia relations often referred to as ‘hybrid friendship’ since 2014. On the one hand, the EU has even declared intensification of its military capabilities (aimed to protect it against Russia in the shade of US foreign policy under Donald Trump’s administration). On the other hand, some EU members are tightly linked to Russia in terms of the energy dialogue, and it seems they are going to ‘do business as usual’, taking into consideration their own economic interests mostly. In a quite obvious way it undermines the political cohesion of the EU. The problem is visible in relations between its member states, as well as on the forum of EU institutions and in relations between those institutions (especially the European Commission and the European Parliament) and national governments.21 Debates on Nord Stream 2 in March 2019, the members of the European Parliament 20 As it is predicted by many Western experts, including intelligence agencies of the EU members, the Kremlin will try to enhance its influence on political processes in Europe due to sharpening crisis in Russia-West relations, as well as upcoming elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. See Kube, Courtney: Russia will meddle in European Elections, keep Prepping for War with NATO, in: NBC International, 12 March 2019, available at: https:// s-keep-prepping-war-nato-n981971 (25 March 2019). 21 It is related to energy sector and the project of Nord Stream 2, in particular, that is reported as ‘the EU’s hot potato’. See Morra, Francesca: Nord Stream 2: The Legal Context, in: ISPI-Commentary, 1 March 2016, available at: (25 January 2019). 105 even came to the conclusion that Russia can no longer be considered as a ‘strategic partner’ in ‘current conditions’22. 4 Russia’s energy strategy and its political implications The Russian Federation treats energy policy either in economic, or political terms. It must export oil and natural gas to provide development opportunities for the country, as well as to be able to maintain its international status and implement power politics. Budget expenditures, from social expenses to military spending, are highly dependent on the revenues generated by the energy sector. Oil and gas companies are the biggest tax-payers and core elements of Russia’s economy. As business potentates, they also offer a huge number of well-paid jobs, as well as decide about the progress of certain regions. At the same time, Russia is dependent on fuel prices on the world’s market with limited own capabilities to control them. Russia needs to modernize and develop its energy infrastructure. It is necessary to maintain country’s export capabilities. The problem is related to all dimensions of the issue: exploration, production, processing and transmission networks.23 Otherwise, Russia’s export of primary energy resources will significantly diminish in a relatively short term. It is clearly visible in the case of modernization of already existing transmission networks (usually exploited, i.e. pipelines delivering gas to Poland), or constructing new sale routes to Germany, Turkey (and further to South and Central Europe) and the PRC, for instance. Russian capabilities in the field of LNG should also be enhanced to allow its own energy sector to be more flexible on the market and balance competitors’ offers effectively. Therefore, the energy complex in Russia demands serious, expensive, increasing innovation investments in technological development, in particular. 22 Russian News Agency-ItarTass: European Parliament calls to Stop Nord Stream 2, 12 March 2019, available at: (25 March 2019). 23 See Government of Russian Federation: Energy Strategy of Russia until 2030”, Moscow, 2009, available at: mic/document122/ (25 January 2019); Bogoviz, Aleksei et al.: Russia’s Energy Security Doctrine: Addressing Emerging Challenges and Opportunities, in: International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 5, 2018, pp. 1-6. 106 Despite sanctions, new solutions developed by Russia, i.e. seeking new partners (development of cooperation with BRICS countries, agreement with OPEC), implementing the import substitution policy, using new institutions and financial instruments, and cooperating with international organizations (UNECE, GECF, OPEC), as well as with China, have allowed not only to avoid the breakdown in production and export, but to increase it.24 Russia’s authorities, according to its energy doctrine, predict that energy markets of the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Turkey will remain the main markets for products of the Russian fuel and energy complex in the perspective of the next decade. Although, at the same time, the European share in the total exports of Russian fuel and energy resources will steadily decrease due to the diversification of export energy markets in the Eastern direction (China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and other countries of Asia-Pacific region).25 However, the Kremlin treats energy relations with foreign partners also as a political tool. The rules are quite simple: ‘friendly’ states, and their entrepreneurs of course, are able to get more benefits by implementing ‘relevant’ foreign policies. This applies to achieving greater commercial profits, better ‘terms of trade’ with Russia either in the context of reaching convenient prices for primary energy import, or getting more favorable conditions in case of export to Russia or investing there. The Kremlin uses the energy sector as some kind of instrument of political corruption towards states, but also individual politicians. In the latter case the ‘financial dimension’ of the phenomenon plays a crucial role.26 Doing business with Russian partners can be likewise interesting for numerous entrepreneurs, not only in cause of getting an access to quite a large market. It can be much more profitable, in comparison to ‘traditional’ European markets, taking into consideration the ‘foggy’ business climate in the Russian Federation. 24 See Wyganowski, Jan: Import surowców energetycznych. Ro nie uzale nienie UE, in: Energia-Gigawat 2017, No. 10. 25 See Government of Russian Federation: Energy Strategy of Russia until 2030, Moscow, 2009, available at: document122/ (25 January 2019). 26 The case of former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, is undoubtedly the most well-known and commented evidence of such political practices. 107 Under such conditions the Kremlin is able to create relatively influential different pro-Russian (representing interests similar to their Russian counterparts) lobbing groups either at the level of public authorities (with impact on the EU level of governing), or business management. Russia knows how to use the energy sector as a tool of economic war, too. Although, that is more relevant in the context of threatening CIS countries, than useful in case of relations with EU members. The more it could do harm to Russia itself. Especially, in the way that Russian elites are also dependent on benefits from cooperation with their European partners. Summarizing, some political aspects of Russia’s energy policy towards the European Union, it should be highlighted: The energy sector is the most significant dimension of Russia- EU economic cooperation, shaping, to a large scale, political relations between those entities, as well as having great impact on Russia’s development potential and the ability of Russian elites to maintain political power over the country; The Russia-EU energy cooperation has also strong influence on relations within the EU as an international organization, as well as between its member states and transatlantic relations (cooperation with the USA); it seems to be one of the most serious causes for the lack of cohesion amid the Western community; diversified policies towards Russia in the field of energy stimulates lack of trust amid allies, which is visible in Polish-German cooperation; Energy policy can be discribed as a quite effective political tool in the Kremlin’s hands, evoking much less negative implications amid European public opinion than, for instance, information warfare or sponsoring populist movements in the EU member states. The European Communities and the European Union have for decades been unable to form a single market for gas, and Russia has been able to use this disunity in its favor. The Russian Federation has pitched sweetheart deals to individual EU member states and built flashy pipelines that undermine European cohesion. As it was above-mentioned, the EU’s largest neighbor is rich in gas and poor in cash. The situation could create a perfect deal for the EU if it 108 manages to import Russian gas but get rid of its political influence. The EU should complete its ambitious energy union and depoliticize the question of Russian gas, what is reported as a kind of nightmare by the Kremlin. With adequate pipeline interconnections, new LNG terminals, and better oversight of natural gas supply contracts, a close energy relationship with Russia should not be an issue. And the prospect of US gas entering the European market should make Russia more likely to play well with its European neighbors.27 Renewable energy sources are also perceived as an instrument of building European ‘energy sovereignty’, as well as another serious threat for the position of Russia on the EU’s energy market and as a quite effective tool of political influence.28 27 Dempsey, Judy: Judy Asks: Is Europe Too Dependent on Russian Energy? A Selection of Experts answer a new Question from Judy Dempsey on the Foreign and Security Policy Challenges shaping Europe’s Role in the World (commentary made by Kristina Berzina), in: Judy Dempsey’s Strategic Europe, Carnegie Europe, 12 July 2017, available at: https://carne strategiceurope/71507 (25 January 2019). 28 See A new Draft Energy Security Doctrine says Western Sanctions and Green Energy are Russia’s top threats, in: Meduza, 7 March 2018, available at: ne-says-western-sanctions-and-green-energy-are-russia-s-top-threats (25 May 2019).

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After two decades of rather moderate interest in European energy issues, the awareness for this policy area began to grow again in the early 21st century. This is due to several changes in the energy market. Firstly, the great powers increasingly compete for access to energy resources. Secondly, the second biggest exporter of energy resources, Russia, started to develop its energy diplomacy by trying to transform resource wealth into political power. After several gas crises in Ukraine, the effectiveness of Russia’s “energy weapon” became only too clear. Finally, the impact of climate change on energy policy became a current topic in international politics, since the energy sector is the largest producer of greenhouse gases. The European Union as organization and international player has significantly gained importance in the field of energy policy. At first, it concentrated on creating a single market for energy goods and services, but subsequently became an important player on the international energy market: building institutions, promoting norms and transforming into a “realist” actor interested in improving its own energy security. Today, the EU’s climate policy strongly affects its energy policy, driving a transformation from fossil fuels to renewables. The goal of this volume is to contribute to the ongoing discussion on energy in international relations by covering different aspects of energy policy in Europe. The analysis focuses on the national perspectives of three EU members – Germany, France and Poland – as well as on the perspective of the EU. Mit Beiträgen von Hubertus Bardt, Florian Engels, Wolfram Hilz, Timo Karl, Shushanik Minasyan, Maciej Ras, Rafał Ulatowski