In Focus (#11 November 2010)

Rebalancing the Energy Role in Europe?

The outgoing year became one very rich in “energy discussions” both at international level and in Ukraine. The security of energy projects is likely to be discussed more than any other energy issue.

Nevertheless, in the European continent the energy sector is still the most geopolitically sensitive one.

In the last few weeks access to Ukrainian transit networks has become the focus of political attention from senior government officials from Russia, Azerbaijan, Venezuela and the EU. Lots of political agreements were concluded over the passing year. These include the Kharkov agreements with the Russian Federation, joining the European Energy Community, public discussion on cooperation between Ukraine’s Naftogas and Russian Gazprom, etc.

In this case how can national economic interests be balanced and interstate interests safeguarded? Perhaps our diplomats realize that the rush hour of their competency has occurred.

While the regulatory field for exploration and mining of hydrocarbons is still rather non-transparent and overregulated for investors, at least the Ukrainian energy marketplace is gra-

dually gaining some predictability, which is crucial for business planning.

This issue of the UJBL was designed to give a comprehensive overview of the state of play, complemented by comments and estimates from experts.

Happy reading,
Olga Usenko

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