August 3, 2011
Dependent on hydrocarbon supplies from Russia, Eastern European countries have been in check since the end of the Cold War. Thanks to the discovery of huge “plays” of unconventional gas, to be extracted by breaking shale rocks, some countries are cheering the prospective end of energy – and political – dependence from Moscow. It is likely that such celebrations, certainly beneficial for energy stock markets and foreign direct investments, are based more on auspices than certainties. The European Union’s choice for a wait-and-see policy on the regulation of the “fracking” practice has continued as a consequence of the recent successes of the anti-nuclear movement, in light of the Fukushima accident. Shale gas might shuffle the cards on the geopolitical table at which Brussels, Moscow, and Washington are seated, if only prophecies come true.
A Cold War Inheritance
The Cold War may seem in the distant past for those who are now involved […]