Keywords: energy as a weapon, hybrid influence, pro-Russian lobby, liberal democracy, energy security, formalization of energy influence


Authoritarian players, who take advantage of the fundamental principles of liberal democracy in their own interests, can use energy as an effective tool for destroying democratic and market-oriented societies. Russia has perfected its means of influence and a toolkit for the practical implementation of its interests on the EU energy market, utilizing energy to the fullest extent to achieve its foreign policy goals. Involving the establishments of EU countries in energy cooperation projects with the Russian Federation turned out to be the most efficient method. The willingness to lobby for Russia's interests has been stimulated, in particular, by ensuring special terms of supply contracts, access for companies from certain countries to the extraction of energy resources in Russia, and the employment of officials from certain countries in Russian energy companies.

The exploitation of energy as a weapon effectively neutralizes the ability of liberal democracies to oppose the aggressive behavior of authoritarian energy suppliers. Moreover, individual countries become informal allies of authoritarian leaders under certain conditions.

The author argues that certain indicators can be used to formalize the assessment of the level of influence of energy resource suppliers on the ability of the leaders of consumer countries to resist pressure. This formalization makes it possible to reasonably approach the assessment of the level of the country's energy security and overall national security based on the influence of external threats, especially dependence on an external supplier.


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