To Counter Russian Gas, Look to the Eastern Mediterranean
Mindful of energy’s critical role in security, Sir Winston Churchill noted that “safety and certainty in oil lie in variety, and variety alone.” Unfortunately, some countries, especially Germany, have failed to heed this time-tested truth and instead have pursued a policy of energy delusion. By increasing reliance on Russia, European nations increase their dependency and reduce their agency. Europe should take immediate action, recommit to their security, and aggressively support Balkan states’ energy diversification goals and the Eastern Mediterranean gas market.
Europe is not monolithic, and although Germany has chosen to increase reliance on Russia, other countries have made great strides to diversify away from their former Soviet overlord. Poland has significantly cut Russian imports and is positioning itself as a regional gas import hub. Lithuania overcame Russian disinformation campaigns to build their first LNG import facility appropriately named, “the Independence.” These diversification actions forced a degree of market competition onto Russian state-controlled Gazprom, reducing the Kremlin’s geopolitical leverage. This lesson from Northern Europe equally applies to Southern Europe.