Russian natural gas : enabler of uncooperative foreign policy
Strouse, Kevin R.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis examines the link between Russia's natural gas and its foreign policy by testing the extent to which Russia's foreign policy became less cooperative towards European consumers of Russian natural gas as their demand for that gas increased. This paper uses two primary methods to test its hypothesis. First, it extensively reviews newspaper reports from 2003 to 2007 to determine the extent to which Russia's proportion of uncooperative foreign policy initiatives increased as the price of gas increased. The second method this paper uses to test the hypothesis is a close analysis of Russia's behavior in two case studies--Kosovo's bid for independence and Iran's nuclear program. The findings of this research depict a correlation between the price of natural gas and cooperation on foreign policy issues, as Russia became generally more uncooperative as the price of gas increased. However, Russia's behavior did not change on all issues, suggesting that the correlation between the price of natural gas and foreign policy cooperation is limited. This research underscores the need for Europe to generate a common energy policy and achieve greater energy independence, because Russia's foreign policy is likely to remain generally uncooperative as long as Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas.
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