Why Russian gas diplomacy fails: The geopolitics-energy nexus in Ukraine and Turkey

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The paper argues that Russia’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Ukraine and Turkey severely compromises its gas diplomacy. In utilizing the concept of issue salience, it attempts to show how, by means of prioritizing geopolitical benefits in both cases, Russia has failed to serve its energy security goals in two distinct ways. Firstly, it has not managed to resolve transit-related impediments to its export strategy, by both failing to break transit dependence on Ukraine and damaging relations with prospective transit state Turkey. Secondly, it has jeopardized its customer base in two significant markets. This brings severe repercussions not only for its energy industry but also for its grand strategy. The paper thus proceeds to suggest ways in which Russia’s energy and geopolitical interests can come to be served together, rather than undermine each other, as is currently the case. This is essential if Russia is to retain its political clout and international standing, given its strong dependence on energy-born revenues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Europe Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2016


  • Crimea
  • Syria
  • Turkish Stream
  • EU
  • gas markets
  • geo-economics


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