Task 5. Role-play “The negotiation between EU, Russia and Ukraine in September 2014”



Background

After a break of more than three months, and intensive efforts by the EU, trilateral gas talks between Ukraine, Russia and the EU were resumed on 26 September. At a meeting in Berlin, the EU’s energy commissioner Günther Oettinger proposed a temporary solution to the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute, the adoption of which would enable a stable supply of natural gas during the winter to both Ukraine and the EU. The fundamental differences between the parties led to the failure of the gas negotiations in June, which resulted in the suspension on 16 June of Gazprom’s gas supplies to Ukraine. The new EC proposal is unspecific on many points (such as the method of calculating the Ukrainian debt to Gazprom; the bases of the new supply, including the price formula; and the ‘take or pay’ clause) and will require further difficult negotiations.

Kyiv, whose energy situation is becoming increasingly difficult, is willing to enter into a temporary compromise, but under the condition that the final size of its debt is not prejudged, and that during this period a constant gas price no higher than US$385 per 1000 m³ is guaranteed. Russia’s position shows that its efforts are continuing to force Ukraine into accepting temporary solution which favours Russian interests; that would mean a de facto continuation of the existing mechanisms for gas cooperation.

CASE FOCUS

Watch the videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK0BkKHAZ8Yand answer the following questions:

1) When did Europe realize its dependency on gas imports?

2) Why is energy dependency viewed as a major risk?

3) What should Europe do to eliminate this risk?

4) How can internal EU energy market be created?

5) What will it help to achieve?

6) What else does energy diversification depend on?

7) What projects help to achieve energy diversification in Europe?

8) What helps to achieve less reliance on external supplies?

9) What side effect does modernization of networks have?

10) Do you think that these measures are effective?

11) “South Stream” was said to enhance the European energy security. It was considered to be a key project within the strategy on diversifying the routes of gas supplies to the EU. Why did Russia cancel the project?

 

PROJECT FOCUS

Choose one of the following international energy alliances and write a 1500 word research report on the topic “Russia’s interaction with international energy organisations”.

IEF IEA OPEC ECC/ ECT GECF EEC ASEAN APEC SCO EAEU

Make use of the proposed plan to outline the profile of an organisation:

- mission;

- member states;

- main activities;

- joint energy projects with Russia (if any);

- prospects of mutual cooperation with Russia.

 


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