Impact of Russia’s foreign energy policy on small European states’ security

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Norberg, Liene
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
Russia is the main energy supplier for Europe and Europe is the biggest market for Russian energy sources. This interdependency is the main cause for complicated energy relations between the EU, that is struggling to merge divergent interests of its 27 unequal members on one side, and Russia,that has gained new confidence in its energy power, on the other. It is particularly difficult for small, economically and politically weak European states that are heavily dependent on Russian energy sources, like the Baltic countries, to face the global energy challenges and increasing Russian energy leverage. During the last years Russia has been using its energy as political weapon and applied coercive approach towards the countries of the ex-Soviet block, causing threat to their national security. These assertive actions have urged them and the European Union to reform their Energy Strategies and come up with several projects and activities aimed at decreasing Russia’s growing influence in the region.