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Issue № 90. February 2022

The 2021–2022 Energy Crisis in Relations between Russia and European Union

Anna A. Shuranova, Yuri Yu. Petrunin

Anna A. Shuranova
Head of the Youth Branch in Saint-Petersburg, Member of the Plenum, All-Russian Public Organization “Russian Association for the Advancement of Science”, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Yuri Yu. Petrunin
DSc (Philosophy), Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State university, Moscow, Russian Federation.
ORCID: 0000-0003-4218-2255

The energy crisis in the European Union (EU), which is primarily characterized by a spike in natural gas prices, became one of the most pressing issues in the EU’s political and information agenda at the end of 2021, having cast doubts on the effectiveness of the European decarbonization strategy and having given a new light to the discussions on the role of fossil fuels in the EU’s energy balance. Being the largest exporter of hydrocarbons to the EU, Russia could not have been left out of this debate, part of which linked it directly with the crisis’s origin. The article attempts to present a complete picture of the crisis’s background and causes, taking the EU’s energy import dependency on Russia into account, as well as to discuss it from the point of Russia — EU bilateral relations. It identifies that the crisis was caused by a combination of a number of “momentary” and structural factors, part of which has their origins in the EU’s energy and climate policies. The authors come to the conclusion that the 2021–2022 energy crisis can be considered as a “window of opportunity” for Russia — EU relations — not only in terms of Russian potential increase of gas export, but also as a chance for renewing the Energy dialogue (frozen since 2014), which would become an important platform for facilitating progressive developments in Russia — EU relations. Climate policy can also be considered as a promising area of mutual interest in which confrontation is less likely, while the means of reaching consensus and the mechanisms of cooperation are widely available.


Energy crisis, Russia, European Union, energy policy, climate policy, decarbonization, natural gas, renewable energy sources, carbon neutrality.

DOI: 10.24412/2070-1381-2022-90-74-89

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