‘A Winter’s Tale: Russia, Europe, and Energy Security’



SPEAKER: Edward Chow

Senior Fellow in the Energy and National Security Program

Center for Strategic and International Studies

TIME: 7.30 – 8.30pm, Monday 6th October 2014

VENUE: The Henry Jackson Society, 26th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

View the event summary

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine – and by extension, the confrontation between Russia and the rest of Europe – is being waged with a number of weapons. One of the most potent of these is energy.

Russia is Europe’s biggest supplier of energy, and this supply has long been the subject of political manoeuvering. This is especially true with Russia’s gas pipelines through Ukraine: Russia cut its supply of gas to Ukraine in 2006, 2007 and 2009; in June, Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company, cut Ukraine’s supply again; and, after European countries reversed flow to Ukraine, Gazprom limited supplies to Poland.

While Europe does not depend on Russian energy during the summer months (when countries usually refill their gas storage facilities), Europe’s reliance on Russian energy is marked during winter. Thirteen members of the EU receive over half of their gas from Russia, and as Europe’s pipeline grid is not particularly well suited to decouple European demand from Russian supply, this reliance would be difficult to decrease. What are the implications of this for Europe’s energy security? Among the various alternatives to Russian-controlled pipelines proposed so far, which are actually viable? Or are we underestimating the extent to which Russia, in turn, is reliant on Europe as an export market, and the leverage that this offers Europe?

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Edward Chow, Senior Fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Chow will explore the state of Europe’s energy security and the drivers of Russia’s energy policy in light of the current tensions over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He will outline the obstacles to reform in the European energy market and the opportunities to reduce Europe’s energy dependency on Russia, dissecting the issue that is underpinning the greatest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.



Edward Chow, a senior fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), is an international energy expert with more than 30 years of oil industry experience. He has worked in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He has developed policy and business strategy and successfully negotiated complex, multibillion-dollar international business ventures. He specialises in oil and gas investments in emerging economies. He has advised U.S. and foreign governments, international oil companies, multinational corporations, multilateral agencies, and international financial institutions. He also teaches part-time at the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University.

Chow spent 20 years with Chevron Corporation in U.S. and overseas assignments. He was head of international external affairs at headquarters in California. He played a leading role in negotiating international commercial agreements. While he was Chevron’s principal international representative in Washington, he worked closely with the White House, Capitol Hill, federal departments and agencies, foreign governments, international financial institutions, and the foreign policy community on international economic policy affecting worldwide energy investments. Between 1989 and 1991, he was based in Beijing as Chevron’s country manager for China. Chow is a graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in international affairs. He has published articles in leading academic and foreign policy journals on global energy developments, spoken on energy at conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and appeared in major international media.



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