Comparative European Politics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 45–63 | Cite as

Russia and EU cooperation in energy policy – Sending and receiving messages?

  • Anastasia Chebakova
  • Olga Gulyaeva
  • Tatsiana Shaban
  • Amy Verdun
Original Article


The Normative Power Europe literature has spent considerable attention on how the European Union (EU) has influence outside its borders. Few studies examine how EU ‘messages’ are being received in third (non-EU) countries. This article examines how EU energy policy is ‘received’ in Russian media. Through a detailed media analysis of five snapshots of 1 month of articles in two leading Russian newspapers over 5 years (2009–2013), we argue that the Russian media does not receive EU messages quite the way the EU intends them to be received, even though Russia does respond to the so-called Third Energy Package. This article contributes to our overall understanding of EU-Russia relations by offering a Russian perspective and thereby contributes to our general understanding of how EU external influence works in countries outside the EU.


energy policy EU international relations normative power europe perceptions Russia 



The research funded reported in this article is part of a larger project – a Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Group (with Natalia Chaban of the University of Canterbury in the lead, and as partners Michèle Knodt of the Technische Universität Darmstadt and Amy Verdun of the University of Victoria). Project title: ‘External Images of the EU’ (EXIE). The group is grateful for financial support from the European Commission during the two-year project 2012–2014. EXIE came together three times for training purposes and for coordinating the research. An earlier version of this article was presented at the third workshop held at the University of Pretoria 22–26 April 2014 and prepared for delivery at the ISA Convention in New Orleans 18–21 February 2015. The authors thank the participants of the EXIE workshop, the guest editors of this special issue, and the two anonymous reviewers of the journal, for constructive criticism and suggestions on the earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasia Chebakova
    • 1
  • Olga Gulyaeva
    • 2
  • Tatsiana Shaban
    • 1
  • Amy Verdun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science, University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.National Centre for Research on Europe, University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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