While the 2014 Ukrainian crisis is far from over, policy debates surrounding the standoff between Russia and the United States and Europe already offer some important lessons on the gap between the policy world and the realities of energy markets. In this communication, we will discuss three policy proposals proposed between February and April 2014 as an illustration of the aforementioned mismatch, and explain their broader implications. As we will show, while the energy world is entering the next phase with renewed emphasis on renewables and energy efficiency, and markets for energy becoming increasingly global and interconnected, a substantial number of politicians and foreign policy makers seem to be stuck in a Cold War paradigm. Though things do not necessarily bode well from a political standpoint, the observed tendencies may offer intriguing opportunities for research related to energy policy far beyond the traditional realms of economics and geopolitics.
[The recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on Russian meddling] is a thorough and comprehensive view of Russia’s decades-long political warfare against the West. The lesson learned from Europe, which has borne the brunt of Russian attacks, is that Russia can be deterred but that requires leadership. For that reason, this report would have sent a much stronger message to the Trump administration if it had Republican support. As is, it is an urgent warning and a call to action, but it may fall on deaf ears.