The overwhelming dependency of Ukraine on Russian energy and the lack of any short-to-medium term diversification of European Union (EU) oil and gas supplies away from Moscow dictate a cooperative approach vis-à-vis Russia in dealing with the Ukrainian crisis. The EU is unable to impose any more severe sanctions on Russia’s energy industry without provoking a major negative impact on its own troubled economy. The continuation of the current confrontational friction in EU-Russian energy relations will most likely consolidate Russia’s decision to seek the elimination of its gas transit dependence on Ukraine after 2020. Such a target will be very difficult to attain by the end of this decade, even if Russia will be able to partly replace the now abandoned South Stream project with Turkish Stream.
- European Union