Natural Gas

Authored by: Boris Barkanov

Routledge Handbook of Russian Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138690448
eBook ISBN: 9781315536934
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines Russian natural gas policy through the prism of strategic adjustment to unipolarity as an alternative to the influential “energy weapon” perspective. After the failure of geopolitics, gas became a key element in a geo-economic strategy that emerged in 2000. It has produced mixed successes depending on the character of strategic interactions. When these soured due to Russia’s partners’ policies, Moscow reacted by prioritizing position and control over profits. This empowered Euro-Atlantic hawks, whose securitizing moves layered geopolitical dynamics over energy ties with the EU, which had its own geo-economic agenda. In this sense, the strategy backfired. Empirically, this work examines relations with Germany, Ukraine, and Russia’s pivot to China

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