Calls for stricter economic sanctions against strategic Russian energy players are not universal among European Union countries, particularly those where Russian oil and gas dependence is most deeply entrenched. The degree to which various EU members support or oppose the South Stream Pipeline project illuminates those countries reluctant to distance themselves too far from vital Russian energy sources.
“It is no coincidence that countries backing the South Stream project – Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary – are also opposing harsher sanctions,” he says. “These countries do not want to risk their energy and trade ties with Russia. They prefer bilateral relations with Moscow at the expense of common EU energy security policies.” – Dr Frank Umbach, Senior Associate at the Centre for European Security Strategies (CESS) GmbH, Munich, Germany
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