The Russia-Ukraine Gas Crisis: Implications for Eurasia

On February 9, 2006, The Jamestown Foundation hosted a half-day conference entitled “The Russia-Ukraine Gas Crisis: Implications for Europe and Eurasia.” Participants included Ukrainian Ambassador Oleh Shamshur, Adrian Karatnycky, President of the Orange Circle, Jamestown Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor, and Marshall Goldman, Jamestown Foundation Board Member and Associate Director of the Davis Center at Harvard University.

The conference’s first panel addressed the gas crisis’ political dimension, with particular focus on the current status of Russian-Ukrainian relations and the implications for Ukraine’s forthcoming parliamentary elections. Ambassador Shamshur underscored the relevance of concurrent disputes between Moscow and Kiev, including, but not limited to, the future disposition of facilities currently attached to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Adrian Karatnycky discussed the status of democratic reforms within Ukraine, and the manner in which internal and external forces might seek to delay or even frustrate the Yuschenko government’s attempts to build a modern, European-style democracy.

The second panel addressed the crisis’s economic and security dimensions, with both Marshall Goldman and Vladimir Socor framing Europe’s growing dependence on Russian gas and Russia’s growing willingness to manipulate gas supplies within the broad regional and strategic contexts. Professor Goldman furnished a rigorous review of recent developments in the Russian energy export sector, followed by Mr. Socor’s discussion of energy as an instrument of coercive policy in the former Soviet space.

The event attracted approximately one hundred seventy guests, drawn from academia, the diplomatic corps and the international business community. Approximately one quarter of the participants represented U.S. government agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy and State, as well as the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The event also attracted print and broadcast media from Russian and Ukrainian outlets, as well as from Voice of America and the Washington Post.


Thursday, February 9, 2006

1779 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

CEIP Choate Conference Room-1st Floor