Energy trade has been an important and largely cooperative field of the EU-Russia relationship for nearly five decades. After the Cold War, liberal theories of international relations, which highlighted the two sides’ interdependence, became entrenched as an explanatory framework for EU-Russia energy relations. From the late 2000s, Russia’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, culminating in the annexation of Crimea in 2014, changed dramatically the political framework of the energy relationship. As a result, realist understandings of Russia’s energy policy (re)gained popularity. However, despite the political crisis, EU-Russia energy trade has continued without major disruptions; indeed, Russian gas exports to Europe have grown after 2014. This article examines the evolution of the EU-Russia energy relationship and argues that it continues to respond to a commercial logic. Russia’s use of an ‘energy weapon’ appears highly unlikely. Meanwhile, eu market and competition rules have strengthened the case for a liberal understanding of the relationship.

EU-Russia energy relations: from a liberal to a realist paradigm?

Siddi, Marco
2017-01-01

Abstract

Energy trade has been an important and largely cooperative field of the EU-Russia relationship for nearly five decades. After the Cold War, liberal theories of international relations, which highlighted the two sides’ interdependence, became entrenched as an explanatory framework for EU-Russia energy relations. From the late 2000s, Russia’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, culminating in the annexation of Crimea in 2014, changed dramatically the political framework of the energy relationship. As a result, realist understandings of Russia’s energy policy (re)gained popularity. However, despite the political crisis, EU-Russia energy trade has continued without major disruptions; indeed, Russian gas exports to Europe have grown after 2014. This article examines the evolution of the EU-Russia energy relationship and argues that it continues to respond to a commercial logic. Russia’s use of an ‘energy weapon’ appears highly unlikely. Meanwhile, eu market and competition rules have strengthened the case for a liberal understanding of the relationship.
2017
nEergy; European Union; liberalism; Nord Stream-2; realism; Russia; Ukraine crisis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/312701
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