The Russo-Ukrainian gas conflict and its effect on EU's approach to energy security
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- Master of Science 
The Russo-Ukrainian gas conflict was a prolonged dispute between Russia Ukraine on issues in the gas relations between the two countries. This conflict has caused several supply disruptions in the supplies to the EU. The supply disruption of 2009 was the most in the history of the EU. The goal of this thesis has been to analyze if this conflict, has caused a change in EU’s approach to energy security, from an internal market perspective, to a security of supply perspective. The focus of the existing literature is, to a great extent, independently on either energy security, the conflict itself or EU’s energy policy. This thesis contributes with an analysis of the effect of this particular conflict on EU’s approach to energy security, through five causal mechanisms. These five mechanisms are; “The New World of Oil”, the Eastern enlargement, the return of Russia on the international scene, Gazprom’s goal of global domination and the changes in the European utility industry. To analyze the effects, liberal intergovernmentalism has been applied as the theoretical framework which has guided the analytical process. Rather than to test the theory by this particular case, LI has been applied to derive empirical implications for the use in the analysis. These implications, in combination with the five mechanisms, have guided the analysis. The data has been based on EU documents, documents published by national governments, company reports, organizational reports, news articles and scholarly contributions Based on the findings, the conclusion is that there was a change in approach towards security if supply by the turn of the new millennium, as a consequence of the changes in the world’s oil market. The Russo-Ukrainian gas conflict reinforced this trend. Based on the findings, it seems that the conflict did not happen in a vacuum, as s stand-alone event. Rather it may be seen as symptomatic for the wider changes in the world’s energy markets. For some Member States, the conflict was a wake-up call, as EU’s economic assumptions were challenged. For others Member States, it reinforced latent geopolitical interests. Despite increased focus on security of supply, the Member States preferences continue to diverge to a considerable degree, because of different views on Russia, and because of different interpretations of energy as a resource. This divergence continues to be a hindrance towards a common energy policy.
Masteroppgave (MSc) in Master of Science in Political Economy, Handelshøyskolen BI, 2013