Russia and Europe’s Mutual Energy Dependence
Russia and Europe’s Mutual Energy Dependence / Christophe-Alexandre Paillard, Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 63, No. 2, Spring/Summer 2010, pp. 65-84.
The European Union has its roots in energy, given that the ECSC and EURATOM treaties were two of the three first texts on which the European alliance was founded. The European Union is almost 50% dependent on imports for its energy consumption and it will be 70% in about 15 years. A large part of its oil and gas imports will come increasingly from Russia. However, the last crises over oil & gas deliveries from Russia to Ukraine have again triggered virulent criticism about Russian energy strategies and its abilities at being a safe supplier. This article describes how these conflicts have in fact an impact on European energy policies, which are now a mixing of panic, bilateral alliances and distrust. In fact, Europe should worry less about the exercise of a geopolitical strategy and more about Russia’s ability at reforming itself and being the right supplier for Europe’s 21st century. (Journal of International Affairs are © The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York)