Energy policy and (energy security) as a part of Russian foreign policy


  • Jussi Huotari Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland


In cartoons Russia is often portrayed as a grim soldier, sitting on a pipeline, cutting off gas supplies to Europe. Images like this tell us something about a drastic change which the EU-Russia relationship has undergone during the last twenty years. While Russia was in the 1990s perceived as weak, it is currently framed as a powerful state. Russia’s strengthened position was correlative of stable political system during the two presidential terms of Vladimir Putin, and a high world market price of energy, especially oil. The outcome of these two factors was that Russia managed to almost double its real GDP in the past decade.

Oil and gas have been important factors in Russian foreign policy in the last fifteen years. Energy policy itself is a complex question. It includes both oil and gas fields and the energy infrastructure. The relationship between energy policy and foreign policy is often interpreted via the concept of energy security, which is defined either from a supplier’s or a customer’s point of view. After gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine (during the years 2005–2006 and 2008–2009) the question of energy security arose in political discourse both in Russia and in the European Union (EU). Finally, the presentation discusses Russian energy policy in three geostrategically important “Rimlands” of the Eurasian landmass (East Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe and the Arctic).

How to Cite

Huotari, J. (2011). Energy policy and (energy security) as a part of Russian foreign policy. Nordia Geographical Publications, 40(4), 121–132. Retrieved from