Il punto di vista del CSIS di Washington esposto in un interessante paper di Keith Smith, "Managing the Challenge of Russian Energy Policies", nel quale viene esaminato anche il ruolo dei governi europei, l'implementazione delle loro strategie energetiche e le relative posizioni pro o contro Mosca.
Alcuni punti del documento:
"The Kremlin leadership quickly recognized that short of military action, its major foreign policy tool was the denial or threat of denial of access to Russia’s vast oil and gas resources. The economies of East European and Central Asian countries, and especially their rail and pipeline infrastructures, had been hardwired by Soviet leaders to assure total dependency on Moscow for their raw materials, including oil, gas, coal, and nuclear fuel.
Moscow also realized that the existing east-west energy pipelines gave Russia the ability to block European access to non-Russian gas and oil from the Caspian and Central Asian region."
"Financial and other more subtle methods also appear to have been used extensively by Russian officials in repeated attemps to influence the energy and esecurity policies of several Balkan countries, the three Baltic States, Kazakhstan, and even Germany and Italy. The use of coercion, corruption, and kompromat (…) is difficult to document. However, there is extensive circumstancial evidence that these methods are routinely employed by Russia's officials when advancing the country's security and political agenda, particularly in those nations that it considers to be within Russia's self-declared "special zone of interest". There are growing indications that corruption is now being used to influence the energy policies of European countries outside of the former Soviet area, with Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Corea as prime targets"
"There are a clear split within the NATO alliance and the European Union over how to deal with Russian energy relations with the West. Countries with heavy energy sector investments in Russia have tended to dampen criticism of Moscow's use of its export power to intimidate the weaker member states. The past 10 years have also seen too much wishful thinking regarding prospects for reform in Russia. This has only reinforced the view in the Kremlin that energy coercion is a risk-free policy (…). This only adds to the perception in Moscow that the West is too weak and too divided to stop Russia's use of its 'energy weapon'"
Neverthless, the European Union and the United States are now in a stronger political and economic position to affectively confront Russia. This confrontation will only come, however, if there is sufficient political will in Brussels and in Washington (…).
The pricing power of Russian energy companies has weakened significantly in the past two years, as demand for energy imports has slipped in Europe and prospects for natural gas exports to the United States from Russia have almost disappeared. The world-wide glut of liquified natural gas, coupled with the relatively new direct energy relationship between Central Asia and China has also reduced Moscow's leverage over international natural gas prices (…).
The 2010-2011 period is a particularly favorable time for the West to rewrite the rules of the game in the East-West energy trade."