28
Mar
2007
Policy Papers Russie.NEI.Visions
Jérôme GUILLET

Gazprom as a Predictable Partner. Another Reading of the Russian-Ukrainian and Russian-Belarusian Energy Crises Russie.Nei.Visions, No.18, March 2007

couv_russievisions_18_eng.jpg

The recent crises over oil & gas deliveries from Russia to Ukraine and Belarus have triggered alarm and virulent criticism in the West. This article describes how these conflicts are in fact not very different from those that took place in the early 1990s and reflect behind-the-scene conflicts between powerful factions inside the Kremlin and in Ukraine rather than the exercise of an "energy weapon". In the context of a European energy policy driven by Britain's panic at becoming a gas importer and by the ideological zeal to liberalize, the West should worry less about the exercise of a purported aggressive geopolitical strategy and more about Putin's lack thereof, and his inability to control his warring lieutenants. Above all, the West should stop considering that Russia owes Europe any gas beyond its contractual obligations, which it fulfills with alacrity.

Gazprom as a Predictable Partner. Another Reading of the Russian-Ukrainian and Russian-Belarussian Energy Crises