Energy has been an important element in Moscow’s quest to exert power and influence in its surrounding areas both before and after the collapse of the USSR. With their political independence in 1991, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania also became, virtually overnight, separate energy-poor entities heavily dependent on Russia. This increasingly costly dependency – and elites’ scrambling over associated profits – came to crucially affect not only relations with Russia, but the very nature of post-independence state building.
The Politics of Energy Dependency explores why these states were unable to move towards energy diversification. Through extensive field research using previously untapped local-language sources, Margarita M. Balmaceda reveals a complex picture of local elites dealing with the complications of energy dependency and, in the process, affecting the energy security of Europe as a whole.
A must-read for anyone interested in Eastern Europe, Russia, and the politics of natural resources, this book reveals the insights gained by looking at post-Soviet development and international relations issues not only from a Moscow-centered perspective, but from that of individual actors in other states.