Journal Article - Post-Soviet Affairs

Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities

| Dec. 22, 2017

Abstract

This study investigates whether, as part of a broader “Asian Energy Pivot,” Russia’s energy giant Gazprom refashioned its export strategy away from Europe, and what impact such a reorientation might have on the EU–Russia gas relationship. It uses four empirical cases to emphasize the domestic movers underlying Russia’s eastward shift in energy trade, developing a constructivist theory rooted in the dynamics of Russia’s dominant public narrative and the contours of domestic politics. It argues that Russia’s national interests changed as a result of how Russian policy-makers interpreted and reacted to the stand-off with Europe, in response to what they perceived as Europe’s attempt to isolate it economically and geopolitically. Russia’s Eurasianists, who had advocated the notion of a necessary turn to the East for a long time, positioned themselves as norm entrepreneurs and their new interpretation of the preexisting material incentives shaped the future course of action.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Skalamera, Morena. Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities.” Post-Soviet Affairs, vol. 34. no. 1. (December 22, 2017) .