Press Release: "Energy Security: Ukraine's Existential Challenge"
July 13, 2006
by Center for Eurasian Policy
WASHINGTON—The Center for Eurasian Policy has released a research paper focusing on Ukrainian energy security and its impact on the political and strategic climate. Energy Security: Ukraine’s Existential Challenge, by Zeyno Baran and Emmet Tuohy, provides a comprehensive analysis of Ukraine’s troubled oil and natural gas sectors, along with a thorough review of recent political and economic developments in the country. The authors emphasize the need for Ukraine to reduce its dependence on Russian energy imports by, among other measures, increasing energy efficiency, developing domestic hydrocarbon reserves, and importing oil and gas from alternative supplier countries—notably from the Caspian Sea republics.
The paper also points to Russia’s growing monopoly over the Eurasian pipeline network as a major obstacle to improving Ukraine’s energy security. The authors conclude by offering a list of recommendations to the new Ukrainian government, the EU and the United States. They emphasize the need for Ukraine to renegotiate the January and February 2006 gas agreement with Russia in order to make bilateral energy relations more transparent. Meanwhile, the EU and the United States should at the upcoming G-8 summit in St. Petersburg urge Russia to ratify the Energy Charter to make its energy sector more transparent and in line with market forces, or risk losing its WTO accession bid.
According to Institute CEO Kenneth Weinstein, “In light of the upcoming G8 summit and of the recent domestic political changes, there is a significant need for detailed analysis of Ukraine and its energy sector. Hudson Institute is proud to release this well-written, timely study, and hopes that its advice will be carefully considered by policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Senior Counselor and Trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, commented that “A Ukraine increasingly dependent on Russia means a Russia increasingly imperialistic. Energy security along the lines recommended in this timely report would be good for an independent Ukraine and for a more democratic Russia.”