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The Southern Gas Corridor: Europe's Lifeline?


The Ukraine crisis brought European energy security and with it the Southern Gas Corridor back into the spotlight. The crisis is far from over, but it is already clear that both the scope and nature of Russia's relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States cannot remain unchanged. As the strategic context changes and Europe becomes more and more concerned about Russia’s behaviour and reliability as an energy supplier, particularly for natural gas, the relative importance of alternative sources will grow further. Europe is in the midst of rethinking its entire energy and gas supply security strategy. The Southern Gas Corridor can and should be a critical component in this context, while its prospects should be assessed realistically. It is by no means a short-term solution, yet in the medium-term, the Corridor has the potential to become a major source of gas for Europe. The EU should deploy robust energy diplomacy as well as resources to speed up its development.

Revised version of a paper presented at the seminar on "Azerbaijan and the Southern Gas Corridor: A Transatlantic Perspective", Rome, 18 December 2013. Paper prepared within the framework of the project "Azerbaijan, Caucasus and the EU: Towards Close Cooperation?", April 2014.

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