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Beyond dependence - How to deal with Russian gas


29th October, 2008

Ivan Krastev, Chair of Centre for Liberal Strategies

Pierre Noel, Senior Fellow

Roumen Ovcharov, Chairperson of the Committee for budget and finance, National Assembly


Chaired by:

Vessela Tcherneva, Head of ECFR Sofia office


The gas relationship with Russia has become an extremely contentious issue among EU member states. It is a major reason for the EU’s failure to develop the common policy approach towards Moscow it so badly needs. Yet the relationship is often misunderstood. Russia is the largest external gas supplier to the EU, but is far from a monopoly provider. Since 1980, Europe’s diversification of its gas supply has seen Russia’s share of EU gas imports roughly halve, from 80% to 40%. Russian gas represents just 6.5% of the EU primary energy supply, a figure that has remained essentially unchanged over 20 years. And contrary to widely held belief, Russian gas exports to Europe are unlikely to increase significantly in the foreseeable future.

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