The EU’s gas relationship with Russia: solving current disputes and strengthening energy security
This article analyses the current state of the gas relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia and assesses its future prospects. It highlights that Russia has been an important supplier of gas to the European Union for more than four decades. However, the EU-Russia gas trade currently faces uncertainty over the regular transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, the construction of new pipelines and the implementation of EU legislation concerning the Union’s gas market. As the EU and Russia will remain interdependent in the gas sector at least for the next decade, it is in both sides’ interest to resolve these issues. The EU should both strengthen the security of its import routes for Russian gas and reduce the vulnerability of individual member states to supply shocks. Simultaneously, the EU would do well to increase the production of renewable energy and boost energy efficiency, which would reduce its dependence on external suppliers of fossil fuels.