Eastern European countries appear to have become dependent on Russian  oil originally due to the country being a reliable supplier to the  European countries (Bradshaw, 2014, p. 76). Though the countries were  allies with the United States, they were trying to become less dependent  on the Middle East and saw that Russia was a reliable source. Much of  this reliance was due to the “iron curtain” as well as the fact that  many of the Eastern European countries were part of the Soviet Union in  some way or affiliated with them.

          It appears that much of the reason as to why these  countries reached energy accords with Russia is due to the convenience.  There was “limited access to storage and alternative sources of gas  supply” (Bradshaw, 2014, p. 77). This pushed these countries to depend  more on Russia, which appeared to be an easier access to gas supplies.  Another reason might have been due to fear as the Kremlin punished  Ukraine for voting for an anti-Moscow government (Bradshaw, 2015, p.  77). This action shows that many of these countries may have reached  these accords due to the pressure and encouragement of the Soviet  Government. In the 1980’s the dependence of European countries on  Russian gas resources was 50-60%. In the 1970’s, many of the Eastern  European countries also became reliant on Russia due to a greater demand  of oil and gas. The surrounding countries that were providing resources  were not able to keep up with the demand and thus these countries  sought to get their sources from Russia. It also helped that Russia’s  prices appeared to be lower than that of the world market (Bradshaw,  2014, p. 87-88). Due to the price of oil and gas and the availability,  Eastern European countries were able to grow and build in gas import and  its infrastructure, thus in turn causing it to be dependent on Russia.


Bradshaw, M. (2014). Global Energy Dilemmas: Energy Security, Globalization, and Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.



Based on your considered review of this module’s readings as well as  your reflection upon the first three modules, evaluate the questions  below. 

  • In retrospect it seems obvious, but exactly how and why did Eastern  European countries come to depend on Russian oil and natural gas after  World War II? 
  • Why did the Western Europeans reach energy accords with the Russians  in the 1970s and early 1980s, building large-scale natural gas import  infrastructures and increasing their dependence on Russian gas? 

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