In 2007, Russia announced plans to construct the South Stream natural gas pipeline. With a proposed route running through the “southern corridor” of the Southern Balkans and up through Eastern Europe, the pipeline has been advertised by the Kremlin and the project’s main financier, state-owned Gazprom, as a project intended to bolster European energy security and strengthen Russian-EU energy relations. However, Russia’s increasingly aggressive role in energy relations with its European neighbors over the past decade has compelled the West to actively pursue alternative pipeline projects and assuage its dependency on Russian gas. In spite of the mounting political and economic backlash against the South Stream project, the Kremlin has nevertheless remained adamantly determined to pursue it. With the commercial rationale of the expensive project less than salient, and the political costs mounting, this thesis seeks to explore the Kremlin’s motivations driving the controversial project. By drawing on primary sources, interviews with natural gas market analysts, and building on academic sources detailing the role of Russia’s energy sector in the development of the modern Russian state, this thesis posits that the South Stream pipeline project is deeply intertwined with Russia’s notion of sovereignty, state-building, and re-emerging as a “great state” in the 21st century. As such, ideational factors associated with Russia’s quest for greatness play an integral part in explaining Russia’s determination to pursue the project.
Keywords: South Stream, Russian energy, Russian natural gas, Nabucco, Ukrainian bypass
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||International Relations, Slavic Studies, Energy|
|Keywords:||Nabucco, Natural gas, Russia, South Stream pipeline, Ukrainian bypass|
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