Political and Commercial Catalysts
The attitude to Russian gas in Europe has been ambiguous, with on the one hand a strong interest in securing the continuation of Russian gas supplies, while on the other various policy initiatives have been introduced to limit further expansion of Russian gas exports. Efforts to stop Russian pipelines have had mixed success, mainly because there are disagreements within the EU. The politicization of Russian gas in Europe has increased markedly since 2014 and gas issues are tightly connected to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Nevertheless, Russian gas exports have soared. One implication of this development is that transit through Ukraine will still be needed even if the new pipeline under the Baltic Sea – Nord Stream 2 – becomes operational.
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