Corruption, Not Dependency is the Risk to Western Europe from Russian Energy Trade
July 8, 2008
The growing dependency in Europe on non-transparent financial transfers in the energy trade is as great a danger to Europe as is the increasing dependency on Russia as the primary energy source. Non-transparent and corrupt business practices can have a corrosive effect on European governments, and especially on the new EU member states of East Central Europe. Western energy companies trying to conduct business in Russia, Ukraine or in Central Asia confront constant pressure from local officials and energy companies to engage in shady business practices when considering investment decisions. Record high energy prices have increased opportunities for non-transparent Russian state companies to secure influence among Western governments and with political and economic elites in neighboring states.