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EU-Russian energy relations: How Russia's power affects its willingness to cooperate with the European Union in gas-related matters

Milatschew, Valentina (2012) EU-Russian energy relations: How Russia's power affects its willingness to cooperate with the European Union in gas-related matters.

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Abstract:The present thesis addresses the political relationship between the EU and Russia in gasrelated matters to follow up the question to what extent the level of cooperation declined between 1999 and 2011, on the one hand, at to what extent this development was affected by an increase in Russia’s relative power after the turn of the millennium, on the other hand. Respectively, the thesis constitutes a trend study observing the EU-Russian gas interaction over the time period 1991-2011. By making use of the Neorealist propositions explaining international behaviour of states, a causal link between Russia’s relative power position and its willingness to cooperate internationally is proposed, which is then tested empirically by observing the level of the Russo-European cooperation in gas-related matters, and measuring the size of Russia’s power sources with respect to the gas industry. It is found that while the size of Russia’s power sources starts to increase considerably in the early 2000s, the level of its cooperation with the EU remains moderate throughout the whole observation period, with only a slight tendency towards deterioration in the years after 2006. The thesis hence concludes that the increase in Russia’s power had an effect on its cooperation with the EU, albeit only marginally. Using both ‘Western’ and Russian sources, this study contributes to a better understanding of the Russian gas sector and its role for the state’s foreign affairs strategy. Finally, the work demonstrates that the conventional impression of an intransigent Putin’s Russia with energy as a political tool used against the EU member states is misplaced, at least for the observed time period.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61841
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