Chapter 6: Russian Foreign Policy and Energy: The Case of the Nord Stream Gas Pipeline
Hanna Smith INTRODUCTION This chapter looks at the interregional level of Russia’s energy policies by examining developments within the institutional dimension of energy policy formation (see Chapter 2), in particular the linkages between the conduct of Russian foreign policy and foreign energy policies. The chapter takes as a case study the Nord Stream Gas Pipeline (NSGP) project, where we can identify a number of different interests and frames through which the Russia–EU energy relationship has been articulated and approached: security of supply and demand, security of transit, as well as the associated bargaining processes, and degree of integration and interdependence among the actors. This chapter first discusses existing research on the NSGP project in an effort to assess how this project became a controversial ‘event’ in Russia–EU energy relations in the mid-2000s. In the second section the process of materializing the NSGP project is explored in more detail. The third section will attempt to tackle wider institutional questions relating to the connection between foreign policy and energy policy, with emphasis on Russian agency and choices to examine the reasons for launching the Nord Stream project. Finally, the institutional environment of the Russia–EU energy dialogue and relations are approached to assess which interests play a central role there. The Nord Stream project shows that alongside material interests, ideational and identity-based factors such as feelings of ressentiment towards the former Soviet republics and former Eastern European satellite states, play a significant role in Russian foreign relations whether economic, security...
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