Interests of the European Union

The main interest of the European countries is the continuous and undisrupted import of energy resources. Economic stability and security of transportation infrastructure are necessary prerequisites for this. At the same time when Russia is seeking to establish a monopoly with as little foreign interference as possible, Europe is trying to prevent Russia from controlling the majority of all imports, thus allowing it to manipulate supply prices as well as quantities. For this reason maintaining the balanced structure of imports diversified by supplier, transit route and energy resource is absolutely required.
Just as Russia wants to direct its gas directly to Western Europe by bypassing the eastern transit countries, the old European countries are also looking for ways to ensure their steady supply. The risks are reduced when the number of countries that could cause problems is reduced. Just as Russia wants to retain the monopoly power it has now over the resources and transportation infrastructure, Europeans would like to retain autonomy in the energy policy field. This is possible as long as the energy sector is considered a strategic one and directly associated with national security. Of course Europe would love the idea of Western European companies directly participating in the production and transportation of energy resources in Russia. Such possibility is foreseen in the Energy Charter Treaty but this free transit of energy resources through the Russian territory is the main reason for Russia’s disagreement to ratify the ECT.

Central and Eastern Europe

Since most of the CEE countries are neither producers nor large consumer markets, the main role attributed to them is that of transportation and processing zones. These countries do not have sufficient reserves of natural resources and are fully dependant on mainly Russian markets for the supplies. Some of them are dependent not only on the actual imports, but also on Russian capital in the domestic energy sector. Their other interest is to avoid projects which intend to exclude them and make them even more dependent on the East (projects such as the Nordic pipeline). In CEE the interests of state-owned and private CEE companies fully match those of their governments since the pre-condition for companies’ survival is governments’strive for autonomy. There are no international organisations covering energy issues in the entire CEE.