On May 21-22 the EU and Russia met in Khabarovsk for the first summit since the war in Georgia. The summit addressed the impact of the world economic crisis and the energy relationship between Brussels and Moscow. Its outcome was disappointing, but it showed once more how it is vital that the EU rebalances its energy relationship with Moscow.
Russia has been severely affected by the economic crisis. This offers the EU a unique chance to use its political and economic power to gain ground in its energy relationship with Russia. The EU’s “20-20-20” energy policy sets the framework for Brussels efforts, but it allows for disagreement among member states.
The EU should find a minimum energy agreement among its members, and pursue it with Moscow while the economic crisis lasts. At the same time it should seek the diversification of its supply, should the economic and social situation in Russia further deteriorate.