SWP Comments 2012/C 12, April 2012, 8 Pages
EU–Russia gas relations are at a critical stage in 2012. Uncertainty is predominant: The balance between security of supply and security of demand is under threat and long-term business relations are under pressure from market developments and a new regulatory framework. Decarbonization efforts in major EU member states have initiated an energy transition that will diminish the role of gas in the long run. Considering the current inertia in the EU–Russia Energy Dialogue, there is a need to look for ways that accommodate both partners' interests in a reliable but more flexible gas trade partnership over the next decades as well as ways to modernize the energy partnership in light of climate change. In a first step, EU gas Transmission System Operators should take responsibility in coordinating and ensuring access for all gas exporters to all customers inside the EU. This preserves valid supply arrangements and creates effective choice.