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Natural gas security problems in Europe: the Russian–Ukrainian crisis of 2006

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Energy security is, once again, a fashionable topic of conversation in Europe particularly in relation to natural gas, but most of the commentary is relatively general, failing to identify any specific problems. The Russian–Ukrainian gas crisis of January 2006 focussed attention on a specific natural gas security problem: the impact of a bilateral dispute on the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine. This episode reinforced old security lessons on the importance of diversity of routes and sources, but also showed that current events can be more influential than projections of supply adequacy at some date in the future. This event has highlighted the potential role of the European Union in natural gas diplomacy, and the Energy Charter Treaty in the legal framework for gas transit. But the most important legacy of the episode may be not in Russia–EU, but in Russia–CIS, energy relations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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