Contrary to previous announcements, Gazprom has not altered its strategy, and still treats Europe as its key market.

Szymon Kardaś
Agata Łoskot-Strachota
Since 2010 we have observed a new quality in EU energy policy. It is related to the European Commission’s more or less direct engagement in the bilateral gas relations of a part of the new member states – Poland, Bulgaria and Lithuania – with Russia.
The text was written within the framework of the Ifri-OSW cooperation programme.
OSW Commentary
Agata Łoskot-Strachota
On 24 February, the Russian press agency Interfax revealed data on the average prices of Russian gas in 2010 for certain European countries. They show wide variations in the prices: for example, the United Kingdom paid nearly half as much for gas than Hungary did. Russia’s gas prices were largely dependent on competition on the market, access to alternative sources of raw materials, and the relationship of the individual parties with Gazprom.
On 10 December, the US Congress ratified an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia (the so-called 123 Agreement), which opens up the American market to the Russian nuclear industry. Thus, after a failed attempt to cooperate in the field of hydrocarbon energy at the beginning of this decade, a significant economic element may now appear in Russian-American relations. At the same time, in the longer term, the Russian nuclear industry will become a significant lobby in Russia for promoting stable relations with the US.
A small gas debt that Belarus owes is a pretext for Russia to pursue its political and economic goals oriented towards both Minsk and the West.
Kamil Kłysiński
Wojciech Konończuk

Less demand for gas and the need to reduce production are also having a positive impact – the Russian company is likely to avoid the difficulties in meeting all of its export commitments which, only a year or so ago, it was expected to experience.

OSW Report
Agata Łoskot-Strachota

The energy security of countries importing energy resources depends largely on the shape and quality of operational transport connections. This is particularly important in the case of natural gas supplies. Natural gas is transported mostly by gas pipelines which permanently connect gas producers and consumers. Thus Europe as a consumer is "tied" to certain gas suppliers for anywhere between a dozen and several tens of years. As their own resources are becoming depleted, the EU Member States get increasingly dependent on import of natural gas.

Point of View
Agata Łoskot-Strachota