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Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 18, 2015 (Official Kremlin photo).

EU’s Energy Dependence on Russia Hard to Kick

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

At last week’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian and Greek officials negotiated a framework agreement for Greece’s participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline that, if realized, will transport Russian gas via the Black Sea and Turkey to European markets. The deal comes just a year after the European Union adopted a comprehensive strategy to enhance its energy security, with a key objective being to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian energy sources. However, if the Russia-Greece deal and other developments of the past year are any indication, this campaign could take decades to achieve and will encounter many setbacks on the way.

To enhance the EU’s long-term energy security, the strategy emphasizes diversifying external energy supplies, modernizing energy infrastructure, raising the interconnectivity of installed electricity capacity, constructing infrastructure to permit rapid redirection of energy flows within the EU to alleviate spot shortages, promoting energy conservation and coordinating national energy policies better with non-EU negotiating partners. ...

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