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EU Energy Union: Twisting the Arms of Gazprom

EU Energy Union: Twisting the Arms of Gazprom
Leaders of European Union gave green light to the project of an Energy Union to rebuff alleged Russian market dominance.

Although the specifics have yet to be hammered out, the idea is that the EU will become a single, integrated energy market in order to promote competition and prevent monopolization. Another detail is that interconnectors will be built in order to move energy more efficiently between networks, which might mean the institutionalization of reverse gas flows from Europe to Ukraine, for example.

 Some will say this is a smart move but will it work and how will it affect Russia? In an article entitled "The Slow Erosion of Gazprom's Grip Over Europe", carried by Carnegie Europe and written by Judy Dempsey, the author writes: "But the biggest prize-the disclosure of contracts-was omitted from the leaders' final text. Instead, the summit conclusions stated: "As regards commercial gas supply contracts, the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information needs to be guaranteed."

Sergei Oznobnischev, Director, Institute for Strategic Assessment and Deputy-chairman, "Russia-USA" Association  (studio guest)

"The Energy Union is motivated by Russia's energy policy."

"Due to the constant quarrels over gas transit through Ukraine, Europe became less confident that it would receive its gas."

"Nobody knows how it will all work out."

Justin Dargin, Global Energy Scholar at the University of Oxford

"There are just so many different regulatory structures already in the EU."

"This isn't primarily directed against Russia."

"This is a bit difficult to do…it's a bit unlikely to do it soon."

Vladimir Mikheev, Moscow-based independent energy market expert (Moscow)

"The 30% share of Gazprom supplies does not dominate the market and can't set overall prices."

"The 3 major providers right now are Russia, Norway, and the Netherlands."

"LNG will be more expensive."

"For the moment, Europe cannot live without Russian and Gazprom gas."

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