Europeand the impossible management of energetic security


source Strategic Impact:

Dr. Cosmin Gabriel Pacuraru

Divergent strategies of energetic security


In the last months, Barosso’s II Commission efforts to realize a common energetic strategy are blown away byGermanywho changed its relationship and energetic strategy withRussia. The Bundestag voted to stop using nuclear energy until 2022, expressing their fear of a potential accident similar to the one inFukushima.


But things are not as they seem! Let’s not forget that beginning with the 60’s,Germany, at that time The Federal Republic of Germany, began to make great business deals in the energetic domain with theSoviet Union. Even from those days, the Kremlin discovered the power it possesses: natural gas resources. Afterwards,France,Austria, andItalychanged their external politics strategy towardsUSSR. Until 1990 it was simple: there was the hunger for technology and the money necessary to sustain the state and the war in Afghanistan, and on the other hand, the necessity of industrial development sustained by a growing use of energy, made the idealogic and politic barriers easily passable, to the despair of the United States, the most important NATO member.


After the fall of the USSRand especially after the rise of Vladimir Putin, the Russian external politics was oriented to winning political influence and the direct economic advantages in the countries that import or transit Russian gas. In the new strategy, elaborated under the eyes of Vladimir Putin, are highlighted the most important ways of action:[i]

  1. European Union countries to become increasingly dependent of Russian gases
  2. Gigantic investments in pipelines
  3. Market diversification by extending their exports toChina.
  4. Increasing the transport capacity in the exUSSRcountries:Turkmenistan,Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan, andAzerbaijanto the Occident
  5. creating intermediary firms in the occidental countries that sees about the gas imports
  6. Associating Gazprom with “old business partners” in a variety of firms
  7. Acquisition of or shareholding in a large number of gas production and distribution firms or producers of railways for the extraction industry and transport of gas or infrastructural firms (communications, railways, etc) from as many European countries possible, especially Union countries in exchange of a smaller gas price.


Applying the “follow the money” idea, we see the existence of a great lack of transparency not only in the commercial schemes of gas export but also in banking, recovering the resulting money, that don’t always return to Gazprom implicit to Russia.

Analyzing the activity of intermediary firms and the persons implicated in these volatile companies, we can conclude that Russiafollows infiltration of influential agents in all the structural political decisions of countries, European institutions, and firms that signs commercial accords, reaching to the ownership of important participations in transnational firms. [ii]

Likewise, Russiadoes not expose to any state and Russian companies do not compromise with any company. The transaction position is always superior to those who Russiais doing business with, trying to impose solutions that are not to the advantage of the importer. [iii]


Looking back in the last years, it is becoming clear that Russia is trying at any price to influence the national politics of all the European states by: control over the energetic resources, access to the energy market, control over transport routes of gas and petrol and dominating the opposition[iv], in which we add acquiring companies that offer a monopoly position or at least an oligopoly in various important economic branches.


At this moment, the “energetic pliers” policy is put in action by Russia, its main partners being Germany(North Stream) and Italy(South Stream). [v] The existence of the pipelines that feed gas to West Europe, which transit countries like Ukraine and Byelorussia (with a political instability potential), the Baltic Countries and Poland (each with a moderate anti-Russian policy) is completed by North Stream, whose target is to boost Russian economic influence especially in Germany, Denmark, and the South Countries and also dimming the European influence for the transit countries. We also add South Stream in this equation.

In this equation,Russia’s influence enters over the policies of the countries and communities implicated in the alternative European projects: Nabucco and AGRI. This influence is observed inTurkey’s position (which uses Russian gas in a proportion of 76% of the necessary through Blue Stream), inBulgaria’s position (which is included in the South Stream project), and inGermany’s position (through the RWE company with which Gazprom is associated with in a couple of firms).


Security terms understood differently


Taking in account the definition of threat[vi], understood from the perspective of national security “someone’s or something’s action that has the potential of interfering with national interests” from which we can come up with the term “security politics which should be deduced from analyzing the threats that generate positive reactions to reduce the harm done by these threats” [vii], we can affirm that the European Union and implicitly Romania are under energetic threat of the independent policies carried out by Germany and Italy, being in correspondence with that of Russia’s, which is the main political influence from the monopolist position of producer and transporter of raw materials.


This position reveals EU countries to risks and vulnerabilities. Economic threats of the internal stability of a state in conditions that some states follow economic strategies based on maximization of profits, monopoly formation, combining economics with politics, leading to geopolitical off balances which can degenerate into conflicts. These threats need to be tracked down, analyzed and stopped.

“Economic defense hearken back to state institutions that have their components settled through laws appropriate to this domain of activity. It follows the production and circulation of resources, diminishing national competition in a globalized economy, defending the data base and technological transfers, combating illicit exploitations of brevets, disinformation and counterfeiting.” [viii]


The European Commission understood that “on an economic basis, collective defense can contribute to the ratings rise of a country, the elevation of trust for strategic foreign investments in establishing the business area in the respective country, to improve the exchange of goods and services with foreign partners”[ix]. The characteristics of collective defense are: voluntary character, selectivity, open character, permittivity, organized character, judicial basis, legitimacy, discouragement.


Thus, taking in account the common interests and passing over egocentric economical interests of multinational companies, EU countries, especially in the second term of the Barroso Commission, have started to elaborate common defense policies. The European energetic strategy is a document that highlights the collective defense strategies in the energetic domain of theUnion’s countries and nearby ones of potential pressures exercised byRussiaand the transit states (Ukraine,Byelorussia, andMoldova)


In today’s conjuncture, whilst the international system is made up of states and other international actors in a circuit of political, military, and economic relations, the economic security is given not only by the actor’s economic security and of the supply and undoing market and the transportation security.

We have three ways of approaching economic security:

–                      Conservatory: in which the economic security is part of national security and state politics.

–                      Liberal: in which eliminates the state’s intervention and considers that the market should ripen and operate independently.

–                      Socialist: in which takes in consideration the justice system and social equality intervening in the economy when social off balances are produced. [x]



In the last years, in the conjuncture of market globalization and growth of big international concerns, the span of east-European economies, ex-communist, and even the Russian expansionist economic policies, we can observe a redefining of the economic security concept through the eyes of the reference between the native and foreign property on natural resources and transportation. The countries that had a liberal approach on the economic growth by selling or granting resources, redefine their economic security policies, especially the energetic security ones.


The energetic security of a state is integrated in the national security doctrine. Taking in account the principle of collective security, European Union countries, North Atlantic Treaty members, and the ex-USSR countries from the Caucasus elaborated common energetic strategies on moderate and long terms[xi]. At this year’s beginning,Russia had remade its energetic strategy. We can deduce that there is a new tendency in international relations in consequence of consciousness (by the political forces of every state) that the fact that energy has become a currency and a risk factor over national and regional security. Taking in consideration recent history, with examples of monopolization of economic domains by exterior forces, we can consider that energetic security is closely tied to the economic security and infrastructural security of ones state.




Economic security can be reduced to relevant problems in a practical point of view:

–                      the state’s capacity to maintain independent production units in a global market

–                      the state’s capacity to gain access to energetic sources and strategic material

–                      the eventuality that the economic dependency on the international market is used for touching political purposes

–                      the possibility that the global market would rise economic off balances between states

–                      the risk of economic globalization which results to diminishing economic functions of a state to generate a subterranean  economy, illicit commerce, illicit technology traffic, affecting our environment

–                      the risk that the global economy would enter in a crisis due to wrong economic policies, weak political governance, weak international institutes, financial instability. [xii]


In the last period the main discussion is about the possible energetic threat making reference to Russia or the Russian economic organizations more or less under the direct control of the Russian state, having connotations and references to the intelligence and security zone.


In the 90’s, the European states were under the control of the left wing political forces, of social-democratic orientation and where the citizen’s security was the national policy. In the year 2000, when Vladimir Putin came to power, theRussian Federation entered a period of economic “recharge” which goes to the retrace of foreign politics based on doctrines which bring are very similar with the imperialistic ones in the tsarist and soviet periods. This fact made the EU countries to reevaluate the definition of national security, putting accent on state and regional security, renouncing the citizen’s security doctrines.

If we analyze Poland’s position, which in the 90’s sold 100% of the actions of the national gas distributor to Gazprom, on the criteria that the polish citizen will benefit of lower prices at the thousand cubic meters (the polish industry benefited of this facility, which at the end falls to the small cost prices of the produces that incorporate a large quantity of energy), we can say that today, Gazprom’s dominating position in the polish economy is very disturbing. Taking notice of the introduction of the new extraction technologies of schist gasses, of the fact that Poland holds an enormous reserve of schist gas which can effect the Russian energetic monopoly exercised over the European countries[xiii] and the fact that the American company Amoco, the detainer of the extraction of the extraction technology, closed with the polish authorities an extraction contract, we can analyze the difficult position that the polish government is put in, being unable to distribute its own gasses to its citizens or to neighboring countries.

Another case study is the PR campaign sustained by the Gas de France society in Bucharest that sustains the idea that individual apartment heating systems reduce the consume of citizen’s gas, an unreal fact proven and demonstrated in cities uncoupled in total from the central heating systems, where production costs for heated water are 2-2.5 times higher than cities that benefit of central heating systems. This action is in fact an energetic security threat to theBucharestmetropolitan zone and a threat to the material safety of the citizen. The campaign unwound in April- May of 2011, using personalized letters and premium influential written press, which wrote boasting articles to the individual apartment heating systems. The campaign’s motive is that of feeding the national energetic dependence (more than 10% of the homes located inBucharest) as a result of the rise of gas consummation and having the objective of profit maximization of the distributing company (GdF) and the import companies under the control of Gazprom.


In this way, we can conclude the following: ones state security should account for the regional security and include the citizen’s security component


USSR’s energetic industry: determinant factor in international relations


Analyzing the relation between the Common State Market with USSR, we can affirm that the only criteria that worked were those of profit maximization. Even from the 60’s, the foundation for cooperation of the largest German, French, or Italian firms was set with the soviet authorities with abiding by the COCOM’s embargo accord (Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls– signed by NATO country members and had the role to establish common economic policies, inclusively lists of technologies and strategic equipment that are under the indirection of being exported east). Cooperation started through the Mannesmann and Phoenix Rheinruhr concerns that delivered steel pipes especially for the USSR, the first east-west pipe being inaugurated in 1973 at the border between Czechoslovakia and GFR, making GFR, by that year, Moscow’s most important economic partner. The Christian-Democrat Party’s and Chancellor’s Konrad Adenauaer coming to power brought the respect of the NATO partner’s agreements by suspending the commercial USSR contracts. Important companies such as (Salzgitter AG, Siemens, Haniel, IG Farben, Thyssen, Hoechst, and AEG) immediately cancelled their sponsorship of this party, resulting the social-democrat’s coming to power lead by Willi Brandt, the founder of “Realpolitik”, a term that redefines a new vision in the commerce with USSR. The term is immediately borrowed by the Italians and Austrians, that begin to import Russian gas through TAG I and TAG II pipes with ENI (89%) and OMV (11%) as shareholders[xiv].


Knowing the problemsHungary(Hungarian revolution-1956) andCzechoslovakia(Spring at Prague-1968) overtook in relation withUSSR, GFR signs one of the biggest commercial contracts: Siberia Pipe –West Europe, in value of 1.2 billion marks and the IGAT I Pipe (Iranian Gas Trunkline) which transformed theUSSRin an important transporter. The result was that the commerce between the Common Market andUSSRdoubled in only 3 years.

With the petrol crisis in 1973, industrialized European states were orienting toward natural gasses, especially the Russian ones, making the last generation technology (automatic equipment and know-how) to arrive in the Soviet Union. This way, the first pipe connecting Siberiawith Franceis put in function, the MEAGAL Pipeline with EON (51%), GDF Suez (44%) and OMV (5%) as shareholders[xv]. But the automatic equipment imported to theUSSR is used to perfect the SS20 rockets which are directed toWest Europe in 1977. Even after the beginning of the War in Afghanistan and the Syndicate Revolts in Poland, the Common Market states seals the biggest contract ever signed with the USSR: “ the contract of the century- the Siberia-Europe Gazoduct” which connected the largest gas storage facility Urengoi-Ujgorod and West Europe, with a pipeline of 5400 km that would permit an upgrade in the gas volume imported from 25 to 40 billion cubic meters per year and would have in mind Italy, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and Greece as potential clients.

In that period, the use of Russian gas in GFR reached up to 20%, inAustriato 67%, inFranceto 14%, and inFinlandto 100%. There needs to be reminded that in that period the iron smelting industry was in recession and unemployment was rising. Pressures were made by Mannesmann, Benteler, Vallourec, Dalmine, and British Steel, for a contract of 5400 km of pipeline (20 million tons of steel), meaning profit. At this, the pumping station construction technology and the electronic material of the installations were added. The CIA’s calculations show that the foreign bills obtained by theUSSRcould cover without a problem the Red Army’s expenses inAfghanistan.

In that period, CIA annalists forwarded some material to the European desks explaining to them the dependency danger of USSR’s energy, offering them the possibility to apply political and strategic pressure. But the naivety of the French and German surpassed any imagination: the banks loaned the USSRwith millions of dollars (loans guaranteed by the two states), these being refundable in natural gas. This made the two states even more dependent through the risk of a banking system crisis[xvi]. The administration in Kremlin negotiated very well: 11 dollars for a thousand cubic meters for an even bigger energetic dependency forEurope and the possibility of a price rise in a 10 year future.


At the moment, the dual speech of the 4 European states (GFR, France, Italy, and Austria) was becoming more and more visible: on the first hand they were criticizing USSR for their policies in Afghanistan and Poland, for their arms policy and not respecting the human rights, and on the second hand, encouraging the large corporations to sign contracts with USSR and to furnish technology (which was under US license and was defying any embargo).


In 1980, the USstarted a plan to kneel the soviet economy. Starting off from the fact that USSRis sustaining its state from the foreign bills won from export of petrol and natural gas, the strategy being to lower the price of petrol and gas on the global market. This way, Saudi Arabiarose their production 4 times and the price of petrol dropped from 30$/baril to 12$/baril. This made that in 1986; USSR’s bay balance had a deficit of 1.4 billion dollars, a year ago having a surplus of 700 million dollars, in the situation where natural gas production soared to 587 billion metric cubes per year[xvii]. This economic off-balance brought to one of the biggest food crisis USSR has ever seen, the government not even being able to import grain (30% of the consume was due to import) and to rationalize food consumption. The new administration represented by Mihail Gorbaciov was unable to manage the economic crisis that was slowly transforming into a political crisis, which brought to the fall of theUSSR. TheUSSR’s debt soared from 28 billion $ in 1986 to 54 billion $ in 1989.


The new Russian strategy


In the extraction, stocking, and transport of gas industry, theSoviet Unionleft behind 160.000 km of pipelines, 350 pressing stations and dozens of gas storage facilities, located in the new-formed republics:Russia,Byelorussia,Ukraine,Kazakhstan,Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan,Kirghistan,Tajikistan,Armenia, andMoldova.

At that time (not taking in consideration the newly-discovered reserves) approximately 80% of the gas reserves were in   Russia, 10% inTurkmenistan, the rest inUkraineand the Caspic zone.


The problem was that 25% of the pipelines were in Ukraine(32.000 km with 120 pressing and pumping stations) and 13 immense gas storage facilities. This reality made Ukrainebecome the biggest importer of gas (30 billion cm/year) and the most important transit country: 100 billion cm, representing the occidental countries’ export. Knowing that 80% of Russia’s total export was gas, Russiahad to control the entire infrastructure inherited from the USSR. This fact came true at the Alma Ata meeting made up of presidents from ex-USSR countries, which would soon form ISC- the Independent States Community- in 1991. This trail to manage actives in ex-USSR states failed to be put in motion, these being transferred in 1992 to the newly financed TurkmenGazprom and UkrGazprom[xviii].


The Yeltzin era along with the “mass privatization” of Russian companies represents a defining period for the new Russian economy order. We have a couple of direction to analyze: vertical economic reorganization, shift from patrimony to the extraction industry’s private sector and the appearance of oligarchies. The privatization program inRussiaends in 1992. It can described in this way: every Russian citizen 18+ receives a 10.000 rubles voucher, subscribing to one of the societies waiting to be privatized. There are two new policies formed in the energetic domain: one for the petrol industry and another for the gas industry.

A couple of national and regional colossal energetic companies are built that hold the extraction, transport, and processing wings. The biggest societies are LukOil, TNK, Rosneft, and Yukos. The coupon subscribing is deliberately delayed for the working-class citizen, so they cannot use it. The coupon “black market” appears. At this moment the “oligarchy” class that intuited the “privatization” potential clotted and through the investment banks that they founded started to organize a “gray market”, the acquisition price soaring up to 10% of the nominal value. Later, these privatization coupons were used so the handful of new business people could detain control over the petrol extraction industry firms. It’s a well-known fact that along with petrol, natural gas is also extracted, but the proportion of gas extraction is too minute, the societies having a ponder just below 5%.


Viktor Chernomyrdin, the prime minister at that time and ex-second minister of gasses and first director of Gazprom protected this concern throwing out laws to fiscal facilities especially for him.


Vladimir Putin’s coming to Kremlin was a milestone inRussia’s external politics and implicitly in the internal politics and also total control of the energetic companies. In this period the development principles of extraction, transport, export, and foreign politics have been traced, revealed in the first page of this text.


From the geopolitical analysis,Russiabegan to develop ways aroundUkraine. This analysis showed to be true after the gas crisis generated byUkrainein 2005, followed by the one in 2008. There were realized new pipeline routes: Blue Stream which ties Turkey and Russia, BBL Pipeline that connects Holland to Great Britain, North Stream Pipeline that ties Russia and Germany (under the Baltic Sea, circling around the Baltic countries, Ukraine and Byelorussia, dimming their role in foreign regional politics), South Stream- which is still in the planning stage- that connects Russia with the EU countries (under the Black Sea, circling around Ukraine).


Starting with 2009, when the financial crisis deeply affected European industries, the off-balance between offer and demand, the offer becoming larger than the demand. The dynamicity of the energy market is becoming more and more unforeseeable. The specialists’ previsions from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies in 2006 showed a decline in demand an implicitly in the gas extraction. This prevision was also made by theCenterofInternationaland Strategic Studies inWashington, as in Image 1:


Image 1: The production decline of Russian gas Source: The Future of Russian gas and Gazprom, pr. Jonathan Stern, director Gas Research of Oxford Institute, Centre of Strategic and International Studies,WashingtonDC, 2006


In the same study[xix], it is foreseen that the independent producers would develop by raising their production. This prevision could remain valid for the petrol industry’s “big 4”: LukOil, Rosfnet, and Yukos, the other smaller companies, not having their own pipeline distribution network, could be swallowed[xx] by the colossal Gazprom.


In the crisis’ last three years, Russia was powerfully hit by the fact that its gas exports have fallen by almost 20% in 2009, not forgetting that 80% of Russian exports represent natural gas and that they have a big contribution in Russia’s GDP.

Analyzing the gas price variation which has no relation with the global crisis, but only with the regional political crisis and here we are referring to the two major leaps in 2005 and 2008 that intervened after the misunderstandings between Ukraine and Russia (revealed in Image 2), we can appreciate that in this context, Russia’s need for funds could result another gas crisis which would automatically result to soaring prices.


Image 2: Price variation around the world Source: 60 years BP Statistical Review World Energy, pag 27


Energetic strategies in the geostrategic context


The International Energy Agency’s previsions say that in 2000, a third of EU’s energy consumption came from Russian gasses, and in 2008 EU countries were importing 40% of the necessary, and in 2030, the import is said to reach a milestone of 66%[xxi]. The numbers show that the demand rises by 1.5% per year.


Starting with 2004, along with the founding of the European Commission lead by Jose Emanuel Barroso, the first trials were made to create a common European energetic strategy. The energetic problems commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, Lithuania, representative, did not accord too much attention to the alternative energy that began to take shape in southern Europe, projects meant to totally eliminate the dependency of Russian gas imports. In this period, the idea of importing gas from other sources appeared: the Caspian Countries and theMiddle East. Some south-east European countries along withTurkeyconceived the Nabucco and AGRI projects. Delay reasons for this common strategy exists, implicitly in the design and construction: the financial crisis and the great production companies of railway material and the banks already invested in the North Stream project, today, being in the finalization stage and it is said to cover for the next few years the European energy necessity.


In the Caspic geopolitical equation, some modifications intervened even from the middle 90’s when the American firms penetrated on the petrol and natural gas extraction market in the Caspic Sea and the Russian riparian zones, and in the ex-USSR countries considered by Kremlin to be under the influential sphere: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. The countries that warmed their relations with the USand the EU countries automatically had their relations with Russiacooled. Political and interethnic tensions rose, that brought to the separation of the South Ossetiaterritory, in Georgia’s case[xxii]. The outcome is that theAzerbaijan, Georgian, and Armenian administrations warmed more and more to theUS and the UE countries, signing various treaties and political and economical accords with the two important players, most of them tied to the energetic sector collaboration.


Starting off from the production soar and gas transport for the Caspic area potential; (Turkmenistan- 80 billion cm/year.Kazakhstan-50 billion cm/year,Uzbekistan-25 billion cm/year), the European Union appreciated that in the energetic equation, this area is very important. If we take in account the acquisition price at the border by Russia of furnished gas from these countries, prices varying between 65$ and 110$ for 1000 cubic meters in the situation where Russia re-exports today with prices that sometimes exceed 450$ for 1000 cubic meters, we can conclude that the EU offer is much more advantageous than the Russian one. Adding the fact that these countries could become propitious markets for European goods, the European Union’s interests for collecting diplomatic and commercial relation with these countries has grown.


Kremlin intuited the new EU direction and the Putin Government elaborated in the course of 2010, a new energetic strategy with the main course of action in the foreign politics: Gazprom should acquire, or become a shareholder in energetic, transport and utilities companies in the entire world[xxiii].


Comparing the sell price of gas and the political and economic pressures applied to the important countries by Russia; this way Byelorussia was importing in 2007 gas with 46$ for 1000 cubic meters in the situation that the national distributor, BelTranzGaz has 50% shareholder Gazprom and the majority of the Byelorussian economic domains have Russian shareholders. In 2005, Moldovawas buying gas with 110$ for 1000 cubic meters and in 2006 with 160$, at half price than the European states. In 2007, when the Tarlev government wished a participation growth for the Moldavian state to more than 50%, (the other 50% being Gazprom’s), the price of imported Moldova Republic doubled to 300$ for 1000 cubic meters. Transnistria, Moldova’s separatist region, imports gas at the declared price of 60$ for 1000 cubic meters, but because of this region, unpaid gas has accumulated in time, the debt climbing to 2 billion dollars. Until 2004, Ukrainepaid under 200$ for 1000 cm but in 2005, Russiaraised the price to 230$. Not liking this price, Ukraineunleashed a gas crisis. Today, Ukraine pays approximately 300$ for 1000 cm. Poland, having Gazprom as the absolute shareholder in the ex-national gas transport and distribution company, buys until 2008 gas with the price of 120$ for 1000 cm. And Germanyhas always been happy of the preferential gas prices. Until 2006, Germanypaid 235$ for 1000 cm in the situation where the other European countries were paying around 300% for 1000 cm[xxiv].


The impossibility of a common energetic strategy from the EU


In the equation of coordinating energy strategies of the EU countries we have to take in account a minimum of two factors: the dependency rate of Russian gas (shown in the chart below) and each country’s percentage from the total export of Russian gas


Chart: European Union countries’ dependency of Russian gas


Country Dependency rate
Bulgaria 100%
Slovakia 100%
Finland 100%
Estonia 100%
Lithuania 100%
Greece 100%
Denmark 100%
Belgium 100%
Lithuania 100%
Austria 75%
CzechRepublic 75%
Hungary 75%
Poland 67%
Romania 52%
Slovenia 51%
Germany 42%
Italia 33%
France 23%
Holland 12%


Non EU states


Serbia 100%
Croatia 88%
Turkey 76%
Switzerland 12%

Sources: Eurostat- 2007 report, CRS- Report for Congress- The European Union’ Energy Security Challenges, 2008, ECFR- Beyonf dependence, 2009


We can observe that half of theUnion’s countries have a large dependency rate, the percentage of Russian gas consumption being over 50%.


But not all countries are important in the pay balance resulting from Russian gas export.


We also need to analyze how dependentRussiais of gas export depending on the export size of every country and the money that it wins, as we see in Image 3:



Image3: Russian gas export percentage- countries Source: EIA (US Energy Information Administration


We can observe that the sums collected byRussiafrom the gas-importing countries with an order of magnitude. If Germany occupies the most important spot (in the EU countries) followed by Italy, France, Poland, the Baltic Countries (all in one place), Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria, the others count less in the Russian foreign pay balance.


This results thatRussiatreats with a preferential degree of attention;Russiaaccords more attention to the countries that are over 3% in this ranking and accord less attention those under 3% of the total gas export. We can conclude thatRussiawishes a different treatment for every country and resists the existence of a common European energy strategy that could disadvantageRussia.


In the Union’s statistics show that 84% of gas consumption is represented by imports through pipelines in this order: 52% from Russia, 31% from Norway, 12% from Algeria, 3% from Libya, 2% from Iran[xxv]. Thereby, this shows thatRussia needs to have an important spot in strategy building for the near future.


Analyzing the European energetic strategy draft elaborated by the Barosso Commission, we can conclude that there wishes to be a “release of the energetic pliers of North Stream and South Stream” through the two major energetic projects: Nabucco and AGRI (As seen in image 4)


Image 4: Nabucco and AGRI routes. Source: STRAFOR


AnalyzingRussia’s attitude in the last few years, it is preparing to reduce exports to EU, confirming the European Commission’s wish to detach the monopoly of Russian gas. This is deducted from Vladimir Putin’s visit toChinain 2006, where he signed a contract for two pipeline routes (which bypassMongolia); a corridor parallel to the Pacific coast and another which passes throughTurkmenistan, which will transport over 80 billion cm/year. Taking in account that these two new routes need time and money to be put in use, we conclude that in the last months,Russiais continuing its policy for the separation of the EU countries, offering advantages toGermany.


The conclusion is that the European Union cannot have in the near future, a common energetic policy, because of sometimes divergent interests of its component states andRussia’s efforts in foreign politics to separate the European Union.




The first conclusion is that the European Union cannot have in the near future a common energetic policy because of the sometimes divergent interests of the composing states. The second motive of the impossibility of creating a common energetic policy is represented byRussia’s efforts in foreign politics to separate theUnionby discriminating the main gas importers, offering smaller prices in exchange for Russian investment possibilities in the respective countries.


Russia, knowing the gas and petrol dependency rate of European countries and the period of resource exhaustion, offered at the beginning of partnerships, advantageous energy contracts. After a period of time, after these states became dependent of imported Russian resources, Kremlin can adopt whenever it wants blackmail policy, like it did with acouple of countries already, having the following examples: acquisition of cell phone companies in some Caspic countries, Acquisitioning MOL- Hungary’s main energetic company, NIS- Serbia’s main energetic company, or imposing the construction of nuclear plants with Russian technology in Turkey and Bulgaria.


The only chance that the European Union can protect itself from future blackmail, is to elaborate and respect a common energetic strategy, leaving behind immediate national interests in the favor of common collective defense interests with an unlimited timeline.


In 2007, the European Commission elaborated the “European Energetic Policy” document that traces the most important ways of action, which include: competition assurance on the energy market, research development in the energetic domain, the use of alternative energy sources, and most important, the elaboration of a common energetic strategy for all the member states. If this document would transform into a European Commission decision, the common energetic security problem could be solved, all the member countries, and EU non-member countries, could be sheltered from a possible Russian shakedown.



[i] Kupchinsky, Roman – GAZPROM’S EUROPEAN WEB, Jamestown Foundation Library, Jamestown 2009, page 2

[ii] Kupchinsky, Roman – GAZPROM’S EUROPEAN WEB, Jamestown Foundation Library, Jamestown 2009, page 2

[iii] sau – Cat de tare ne permitem sa ne suparam cu Rusia – Cosmin Pacuraru

[iv] Dr. VOLOŞIN, Andriy – XXI CENTURY ENERGETIC WARS, Regional Stability and Security, “Universitatii Nationale de Aparare CAROL I” Publishing,Bucharest, 2009


[v] MANKOF, Jeffry  – Eurasian energy security – Council on Foreign Relations, febr 2009, pag 14

[vi] IONESCU, Voichiţa, Latin-Romanian dictionary, Ed. II, Orizonturi Publishing, f.a., p. 132

[vii] ROBINSON, Paul “Dictionary of International Security” –C&A Publishing, Cluj Napoca, 2010, page 17


[viii] Dr. MOŞTOFLEI. Constantin, Dr. DUŢU, Petre- COLLECTIVE DEFENCE and NATIONAL DEFANCE, “Universităţii Naţionale de Apărare” Publishing,Bucharest, 2004


[ix] Dr. MOŞTOFLEI. Constantin, Dr. DUŢU, Petre- COLLECTIVE DEFENCE and NATIONAL DEFANCE, “Universităţii Naţionale de Apărare” Publishing,Bucharest, 2004


[x]SAVA, Ionel Nicu – Security studies; “Centrului Roman de Studii Regionale” Publishing,Bucharest, 2005, page 233


[xi] CHIFU, Iulian, SAULIUC, Adriana, NEDEA Bogdan- Energy Security Strategies in the WiderBlack Sea Region, “Curtea Veche” Publishing,  Bucharest 2010


[xii]SAVA, Ionel Nicu – Security studies; “Centrului Roman de Studii Regionale” Publishing,Bucharest, 2005, page 233


[xvii] OUGARTCHINSKA, Roaumiana, CARRE, Jean Michel, Razboiul Gazelor – Amenintarea Rusa,Timisoara, Editura Antet, 2008, pag. 39

[xviii] OUGARTCHINSKA, Roaumiana, CARRE, Jean Michel, Razboiul Gazelor – Amenintarea Rusa,Timisoara, Editura Antet, 2008, pag. 41


[xix] OUGARTCHINSKA, Roaumiana, CARRE, Jean Michel, Razboiul Gazelor – Amenintarea Rusa,Timisoara, Editura Antet, 2008, pag. 53


[xx]pr. STERN, Jonathan (director Gas Research of Oxford Institute) –  The Future of Russian Gas and Gazprom Washington DC, Centre of Strategic and International Studies, 2006, pag. 3





[xxi] The transport price imposed by Gazprom for the independent companies was of 0.84$ cm/km and for Russiaand the ISC countries 0.92$/cm/km




[xxiii] Energetic Security- Actual preoccupation and of perspective for theNorth-Atlantic Alliance- Dr. Ioan Codrut Lucinescu, Alina Orescovici, National Defense University “Carol I”, European Union security and defense, the anuual scientific communication session with international participation, Bucharest, April 17-18 2008

[xxv] OUGARTCHINSKA, Roaumiana, CARRE, Jean Michel, Razboiul Gazelor – Amenintarea Rusa,Timisoara, Editura Antet, 2008, pag. 87 si KUPCINSKY, Roman – GAZPROM’S EUROPEAN WEB,Jamestown, Jamestown Foundation Library, 2009, pag 2







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