Belfer Center, Kennedy School, Harvard Univ. / by Leonardo Maugeri
The 2014 Ukraine crisis once again exposed the mutually limiting knot—a web of commercial relationships and oil and gas pipelines—that historically tied the European Union and Russia closely. In this crisis, a familiar conundrum preoccupied minds in the corridors of power in Western capitals: how to compel Russia to respect the Western geopolitical preferences without harming European allies? The answer, as in the past, pointed to the lack of viable short-term solutions and the longer term need for gaining energy independence without sacrificing energy security in the EU. The case chronicles latest efforts, and its unintended consequences, by all-union authorities in Brussels to untie the Russian knot by implanting American inventions in the European soil: liberalized, transparent natural gas markets and shale gas production. Executives of European and Russian energy companies present their views.