European Energy Security is Not Up to Europe
From EU Observer
By Alexandros Petersen
It is no secret that Russian dominance of European natural gas markets has splintered the Union.
The imperative of having enough heat or cooking fuel in the winter has put countries – especially in central and eastern Europe – in two camps: those who make bilateral deals with Russia’s energy behemoth Gazprom (Western unity be damned), and those who suffer from the disunity and call continually not just for co-ordinated policies to withstand Moscow’s pressure, but also for alternative resources from the Caspian region or elsewhere to diversify supply.
The second camp has it right, but they – as well as Euro-Atlantic institutions – have sabotaged their own efforts by seeking to dictate terms to alternative producers, such as Azerbaijan.
All the while, the pro-Russia camp has made gains.
Earlier in March, Serbia passed a constitutional amendment on land ownership to make it easier for Gazprom to buy up the land it needs for a major pipeline project aimed at increasing southeastern Europe’s dependence on Russian resources and defeating regional plans for diversification.
This follows Germany’s joint development with Russia of the Nord Stream pipeline, which connects German consumers directly to Russian fields across the Baltic Sea. It bypasses and undermines the energy security of fellow Nato and European Union members, Poland and the Baltic states.
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