The implementation of European Energy Security should become an imperative priority of the EU member states in order to reduce their dependence on Russian gas and secure alternative energy sources. In parallel, European Energy Security should be related to an effective Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as the protection of critical energy infrastructures is vital for the undisrupted flow of gas and oil.
Three documents issued by the European Commission on 25 February 2015 aim to advance work on the Energy Union, a project figuring prominently on the Juncker Commission’s agenda. It is hoped that the proposed actions will help diversify Europe’s energy sources and turn the EU from the world’s largest energy importer to the world’s leader in renewable energy production.
President Putin’s visit to Budapest on 17 February has raised eyebrows externally and provoked protests within Hungary. Many Hungarians feel that their country is drifting to the East, while its present and future lies with the West. Prime Minister Orban does have some valid points for explaining his association with Mr. Putin. What is more worrisome in the long-run is the authoritarian affinities between the two.
Relations between the EU and Russia are at a particularly low point over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union this must be the time of highest tension between the major powers on the European continent. Talk of new sanctions on Russia and of providing military assistance to Ukraine by the West may exacerbate the situation without actually resolving it. A further cornered Russia may well become more authoritarian internally and aggressive externally. The EU would be wise to avoid that and find more constructive ways of engaging with its big eastern neighbor…
Ukraine, Russia and the European Union have agreed on a deal that would secure the resumption of Russian natural gas flowing to Ukraine in time for winter.