Russian Gas Relations with Ukraine: Competing Political & Economic Interests

Camilla Celine Brune

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates the political and economic rationales behind Russia’s gas strategy towards Ukraine. Existing literature on the topic tend to treat political and economic rationales separately with a predominant focus on the political aspect. By applying both the political and economic approach in conjunction, this thesis contributes to widen the debate by analyzing how the impact of these two factors is influencing Russian gas strategies. To investigate this relationship the realist framework and the complex interdependence theory is employed as conceptual frameworks and analytical tools. The study finds that the importance of maintaining commercial viability within the gas sector appears to be a key objective in Russia’s foreign gas policy despite certain politically motivated actions. Due to the mutual dependency on gas and especially the mutual economic interests, it appears that Russia mostly refrain from using gas as a tool in political contexts and conflicts with Ukraine. Therefore, based on the observations made in this analysis, economic implications stand out as the strongest indicator of decision making within the Russian gas sector.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages92