Energy Security: Is Russia a secure source of energy for the EU?
Abstract: There has been considerable scepticism in Europe over the reliability of Russia as a secure source of energy for the EU. Despite Russia and EU being economically interdependent with regard to energy and other trade, there is still concern over potential supply disruptions. What can be gathered from media and scholarly sources is that Russia is potentially an unreliable supplier yet it is currently the only alternative for the EU, for especially natural gas. Russia may not be a secure source of energy, however it is important to keep in mind that most concerns have arisen from Russian behaviour in what it deems the ?near abroad?. European relations with Russia are not comparable to those between Moscow and the CIS. The true danger in relying on Russia for energy security stems from the impending investment crisis in the energy industry. This is to a large extent related to the excessive state control of the energy sector. At the risk of engendering ill will in Russian-European affairs, it is important for the EU to try and diversify away from Russian energy supplies. That said, energy fuelled Russian power games aimed at the Union seem to be fairly unlikely for the time being.
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