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EU–Russian Relations and the Ukraine Crisis

Nicholas R. Smith

This book assesses the competitive and contentious EU–Russia relationship in relation to Ukraine from 2010 to 2013, focusing on the important areas of trade, energy and security. The key issue explored is whether this relationship played any meaningful role in the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine since late 2013.
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Chapter 4: A precarious transit state? Assessing the external energy policies of the EU and Russia towards Ukraine

Nicholas R. Smith


This chapter examines energy (specifically gas) as a sector of the EU–Russia–Ukraine triangular relationship. First, a section on the EU’s foreign energy policy towards Ukraine and Russia’s foreign energy policy towards Ukraine is offered. For the EU, after an initial examination of its historical relationship with Russia and Ukraine, its Energy Community initiative is examined. Regarding Russia, after an overview of its historical relationship with the EU and Ukraine, its two-pronged energy policy (economic and political) is analysed. In the last section, after examining Ukraine’s response, it is concluded that the energy relationship only had weak competition, as both competition and cooperation simultaneously existed in the triangle. Thus, the emergence of only weak competition, despite clear policy incompatibilities of the EU and Russia, was a product of the complexities of the producer–transit–consumer relationship, which naturally produced dissimilar but not necessarily conflicting foreign policy goals for each of the actors.

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