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Politics of Energy Dependency

Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 464
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  • Book Info
    Politics of Energy Dependency
    Book Description:

    A must-read for anyone interested in Eastern Europe, Russia, and the politics of natural resources, this book reveals the insights gained by looking at post-Soviet development and international relations issues not only from a Moscow-centered perspective, but from that of individual actors in other states.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9579-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. A Note on Sources, Translations, and Transliteration
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. Maps
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  7. Part One: Larger Influencing Factors

    • 1 Introduction: Domestic Politics and the Management of Energy Dependency in the Former Soviet Union
      (pp. 3-41)

      How is national interest developed under conditions of political transition, how does it affect policy, and how is it constructed politically? This book looks at these questions through the prism of three post-Soviet statesʹ responses to one of the most central policy challenges facing them during the first two decades of their independent statehood: how to deal with their overwhelming energy dependency on Russia. As this book goes to press in 2013, the unconventional gas revolution and the expected increase in non-Russian gas supplies holds open the promise of a future free of energy dependency on Russia. As we ponder...

    • 2 The Legacy of the Common Soviet Energy Past: Path Dependencies and Energy Networks
      (pp. 42-60)

      Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuaniaʹs ability to deal with their post-independence energy challenges was significantly affected by their pre-1991 experiences. This chapter analyses the impact of Soviet energy legacies, allowing us to get a better sense of the path dependencies limiting both the energy-dependent statesʹ range of energy options in the post-1991 period, as well as Russiaʹs ability to use energy as a foreign policy tool. In order to do this, the chapter first sketches the Soviet Unionʹs transformation from energy importer to major exporter and its effects on the development of its energy relationship with its immediate Eastern European (EE)...

    • 3 The Domestic Russian Background: Domestic Choices, Foreign Energy Policy Levers, and Trans-border Rent-seeking
      (pp. 61-90)

      Russia remains the main energy supplier, transit gatekeeper, and energy rule-setter in the post-Soviet region, and understanding the Russian side of the energy supply question is essential for making sense of energy policy actions and reactions in the energy-poor states.¹ This chapter focuses on the impact of Russiaʹs political economy of oil and gas on the energy-dependency management landscape faced by the energy-poor states. This impact takes place mainly through three dimensions analysed in this chapter: (a) through Russiaʹs own resource base and changing ability to supply foreign markets, which affect Russian export priorities and transit preferences; (b) through changing...

  8. Part Two: Case Studies

    • 4 Ukraine: Energy Dependency and the Rise of the Ukrainian Oligarchs
      (pp. 93-153)

      Our first case study is Ukraine, a country whose energy troubles since independence have brought energy-poor post-Soviet states to international attention.

      In the winter of 1993–1994, energy supply problems and an energy war with Russia led to freezing home temperatures in Ukraine.¹ As citizens froze, their trust in their leaders and in the wisdom of having chosen Ukrainian sovereignty started to wane. In the winter of 2008–2009, an energy war between Ukraine and Russia led to a cut-off of gas supplies and the prospect of freezing home temperatures in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and other parts of the EU...

    • 5 Belarus: Turning Dependency into Power?
      (pp. 154-207)

      Like Ukraine and Lithuania, Belarus gained political independence while remaining highly dependent on Russia and Russian energy. But it differed sharply in terms of its political dynamics, with, as will be shown in this chapter, important effects on the energy relationship with Russia.

      Depending on foreign sources for about 86 percent of its energy supply, Belarus is the most energy-dependent of our three cases, and one of the most energy-dependent states in all of the former USSR. Annually, it can cover none of its gas needs, and only about 8 percent of its oil needs.¹ Of our three cases, it...

    • 6 Lithuania: Energy Policy between Domestic Interests, Russia, and the EU
      (pp. 208-258)

      Part of the EU since 2004 but isolated from its energy networks, Lithuania presents an interesting counterpart to the Ukrainian and Belarusian cases. It shares with them common Soviet legacies, high levels of energy dependency on Russia, and a lack of structural links with Western energy suppliers. Yet despite these commonalities, Lithuania is unique in a number of ways. First, it is a much smaller country, with a much smaller population. Second, its role in direct and indirect energy transit is smaller than in the other two cases. Third, while for all three cases one of the most important legacies...

  9. Part Three: Conclusions

    • 7 Conclusion: Managing Dependency, Managing Interests
      (pp. 261-280)

      What have we learned from the cases of Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania? How do our three cases compare in terms of the results of their management of energy dependency?

      If looked at simply in terms of their dependency on Russian energy supplies, none of the three cases showed significant progress. In the period between 1991 and 2007, the last year for which full official data was available at the time of writing, Belarusʹ energy dependency (overwhelmingly on Russian energy) went from 89 percent to 85 percent, Ukraineʹs from 50 percent to 43 percent and Lithuaniaʹs from 70 percent to 62...

  10. Appendix: Chronologies of Main Energy Events for Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania
    (pp. 281-284)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 285-380)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 381-420)
  13. Index
    (pp. 421-444)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 445-446)