Central and Eastern European gas markets have long suffered from isolation and fragmentation, leaving them vulnerable to both supply disruptions and to monopoly pricing power. However, new research suggests that countries collectively negotiating with gas exporters could remedy this problem, argues economist and energy researcher Edward Hunter Christie.
While gas systems in Central and Eastern Europe should gradually become more integrated and more resilient, a key question remains on the table, namely that of the future of Ukraine as a major transit corridor for Russian gas supplies to Europe.
The administration of President Yanukovych has been subjected to sharp but justified criticism, not least for selective usage of the justice system to shut down political competition and for attacks on the freedom of the media. Corruption also remains at very high levels.