Russia is the dominant oil and gas exporter to Europe supplying around a third of its oil and more than a quarter of its natural gas. The European Union imports 90 per cent of its energy needs, and the dependency on Russian gas, while less in percentage terms, is viewed as more critical, because it is less easily replaceable by alternative suppliers. The potential risks of this reliance were exposed by the Russian willingness to exploit gas exports as a political weapon: it cut off supplies to Ukraine in 2006 and 2009, on the latter occasion causing tangential disruption to eastern Europe. Furthermore, Russia’s oil and gas industry is mostly under the control of the state; Rosneft, Gazprom, and for the pipeline network, Transneft. Reliance on Russia is geographically determined: 100 per cent for the Baltic states, 40 per cent for Germany, much less for the Atlantic seaboard.
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