How East-West Competition Turned Balkan Energy into a Geopolitical Football

Date: 11-20-2014 | Category: Energy Security, Europe, Geopolitics, Russia and Eurasia

Europe’s dependency on Russian gas, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, has become a major strategic liability for the West. This is especially true as the war in Eastern Ukraine has brought relations between Moscow and Brussels as well as many of the European capitals to new lows.  Russia enjoys a de facto monopoly on gas supplies to the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia, and Slovakia, as well as dominating the energy scene in Hungary and other European countries. This raises serious questions with regards to the Kremlin’s political influence in capitals from the heart of Europe to the Mediterranean. Allegations of corruption permeate political debates about the Russian gas supply and are putting increasing pressure on the EU and the nation-states to find economic alternatives. By Ariel Cohen Journal of Energy Security November 20, 2014

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