Today, the Eastern Europe Studies Centre and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania hosted the discussion “Energy security in Europe in a time of transformation”, which examined the shifts in the energy sector in the EU after the start of the Russian war in Ukraine. The discussion featured Olga Khakova, Deputy Director for European energy security at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and Gediminas Varvuolis, Ambassador at Large for Connectivity at Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tomas Janeliūnas, Chief Research Programme Officer at the EESC, moderated the discussion.
The definition of energy security in Europe and, arguably, in the rest of the world has changed over the recent decades. Now it is not just about green energy resources; it’s about securing the energy supply. This has really been brought to light by the Russian aggression in Ukraine. When considering energy security, it is essential to consider the geolocation of the country, what can be produced domestically, and what has to be imported. Most importantly, countries need to be wary of actors in the energy market, such as ones like Russia.
Europe has been repeatedly warned about the dangers of energy blackmail. Even though there was a time of turmoil, the European Union managed to secure their energy supply and is constantly working to prevent last year’s scenario from happening again. The European Union is actively developing infrastructure to connect member states better as well as be completely independent of Russian imports and not have to pay a hefty price for it.