Brussels, Moscow and energy security – a struggle on equal terms?
Despite an economic downturn, Moscow is increasingly trying to re-position itself as a global actor by attempting to control its neighbors and weaken Europe. In part, it aims to achieve its foreign policy goals towards both the EU and the former Soviet Union (FSU) states through the instrumentalization and, arguably, weaponization of energy projects. By pitching hydrocarbons transportation projects to individual EU member states, Russia seeks to undermine both the union’s CSFP and the nascent Energy Union so it can thwart EU and transit states’ efforts to diversify away from political and economic dependence on Russian natural gas. However lucrative for local elites, Russia’s pipeline plans in the Black Sea region and Southern Europe should not be treated as legitimate business initiatives proposals, but as political manoeuvring. In addition, Moscow seems to increasingly attempting to force the EU’s hand on the energy issue by sowing instability in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. It does so in order to undercut supply to – or acquire leverage over – energy projects which it does not control or believes it will not benefit from itself. Ultimately, the EU today competes for access to hydrocarbons on Russia’s terms. If Brussels wants to compete on a level playing field, it must involve itself much more resolutely in the security arrangements of its partner states in both the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
The Long Game on the Silk Road: U.S. and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus
This book argues that American and European policies toward Central Asia and the Caucasus suffer from both conceptual and structural impediments. It traces the framework of Western policies to the […]
Religion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan
Summary Since independence, religion has become ever more important as an identity marker in Kyrgyzstan, with increased practical relevance in the everyday lives of many citizens. This religious revival poses […]
Russia and the CIS in 2019: Relying on the Chinese Way
ABSTRACT The paper examines the relationship between Russia and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including how Moscow’s responses to changing geopolitical dynamics framed these relations in […]
Modernization and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia: A New Spring?
Executive Summary Until recently, regional cooperation among Central Asian states has left much to be desired. While a number of initiatives have been launched over the past quarter-century, there is […]
“Det centrala glöms bort i hatet mot Trump och Putin”
Med helt nya kärnvapensystem, brutna nedrustningsavtal och diplomatiska förbindelser och två pågående proxykrig är säkerhetsläget mellan USA och Ryssland sämre än på mycket länge. Vi är nere på kallaste krigsnivå. Men […]
Political Reform in Mirziyoyev’s Uzbekistan: Elections, Political Parties and Civil Society
Executive Summary Since taking over from long-time President Islam Karimov in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has pursued an aggressive policy to transform Uzbekistan’s decision-making processes, invigorate civil society, encourage political […]