EU-Russia Energy Relations

Living reference work entry


Energy trade is a long-standing pillar of European Union (EU)-Russia relations. Russia is the main provider of oil, gas, and solid fuels to the EU. The EU’s demand for reliable energy supplies from abroad and Russia’s desire to capitalize on its vast fossil fuels resources have led to strong interdependence in the energy sector. However, within the EU, assessments of the energy relationship with Russia have become more controversial since the late 2000s, and particularly after the Ukraine crisis. The chapter explores the main scholarly debates concerning the EU-Russia energy relationship. It puts the relationship in a historical context and discusses the consequences of the Ukraine crisis, including the measures taken by each side to diversify their partners. The chapter argues that the existing path dependencies in the EU-Russia energy relationship, together with market forces, continue to drive bilateral trade. While the focus is mostly on gas trade and geopolitics, the growing relevance of nuclear power and of renewable energy sources is also analyzed.


Russia European Union Energy Gas Oil Nuclear Renewable energy Ukraine Nord Stream 2 Energy Union 



I would like to thank Dr. Jack Sharples for his comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Union Research ProgrammeFinnish Institute of International AffairsHelsinkiFinland

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