CEPA STRATCOM PROGRAM
14 November 2017

Powering influence

Russian pipelines, politics, and propaganda
CEPA hosted an experts roundtable on Russia's use of the energy sector to exert geopolitical influence in Europe. This discussion featured analysis by Dr. Alan Riley from the Institute for Statecraft and was moderated by CEPA president Peter B. Doran.

Russian energy is increasingly a vector for spreading Kremlin influence in the West, from formal relations to media spin and disinformation. Meanwhile, the European Union’s internal debate grows more complex. Parties on all sides lobby for and against Russian energy conduits—revealing a maze of legal intricacies tied to export pipelines. The stakes could not be greater. If Kremlin-backed energy projects like Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream pipelines are completed, they could isolate some EU members at the levels of politics, economics, and energy security. How does the Kremlin’s multi-dimensional, all-of-government approach to disinformation and the energy space make these outcomes more likely?

Key questions considered during the discussion included: what legal concerns about Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream should be a priority for policymakers and regulators; how does Russia’s energy supply monopoly in parts of Europe advance its ability to exert influence in the West; how should the EU establish a level playing field for U.S. and Russian companies operating inside Europe; and how might greater supply diversification allow Europeans to enjoy the benefits of market forces over monopolies in the energy field?