Antonio Sánchez Andrés

Russia and the energetic policy of the European Union

The problems for the Russian gas supply to the EU in 2006 and 2009 raised the question on the relationship between these areas. The EU includes Russia in its energy policy, but as a geopolitical risk. The ground of this view is the big volume of hydrocarbons that the EU imports form Russia that implies a dependency of the former. It is assumed that Russia can influence the prices, the quantities, as well as the capability for restructuring the European gas sector. Nevertheless, this view doesn’t consider the role of the gas in Russia and, in particular,the Russian gas export strategic value from the Russian view. This paper questions that Russia could use the gas export to EU as a political vector and, by the way, proposes the geopolitical risk to have a minor relevance. So in the European energy policy the geopolitical risk of Russia should lose importance and should increase the priority about the absence of investments in the Russian gas sector that can establish limits to the imports of Russian gas in the future.

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