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A Study on Contemporary Russian Gas Policy Towards European Countries

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Title: A Study on Contemporary Russian Gas Policy Towards European Countries
Author: Kyung Suk Lee
Affiliation: Yonsei University
Issue: Peace & Stability – Volume 7 Issue 1
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
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ABSTRACT

From the Cold war period to present, one of Russia’s most pivotal resources has been energy. Russia is built on the bedrock of its energy industries which act as a buttress for the Russian nation itself. Among its various energy resources, Russia possesses a significant amount of natural gas compared to other countries around the globe. As a result, Russia has amassed strong gas ties with European countries. This paper utilizes case study analysis and content analysis in order to shed light on the substance of Russia’s gas policy towards European countries. By scrutinizing the numerous Russia-EU gas pipelines, this paper deduces three definite aims of Russian gas pipeline politics in Europe. Russian gas pipeline politics have been implemented to: 1) minimize the role of the transit country; 2) directly target the gas markets of countries with high gas demand; and 3) wield political leverage against members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Based on the assumption of the bureaucratic inertia of Russian gas policy, Russia is expected to utilize the same gas pipeline politics towards East Asia.