Perspective | Published:

The Eastring gas pipeline in the context of the Central and Eastern European gas supply challenge

Nature Energyvolume 2pages844848 (2017) | Download Citation


Ever since the 2009 natural gas crisis, energy security has been a crucial priority for countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Escalating in 2014, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia further fuelled negative expectations about the future development of energy relations for the region predominantly supplied by Russia. As a response to the planned cessation of gas transit through the Brotherhood pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine and Slovakia, the Slovak transmission system operator Eustream proposed the Eastring pipeline. This Perspective analyses this proposal and argues that neither the perceived decrease in Slovak energy security nor the loss of economic rent from the international gas transit should be the main policy driver behind such a major infrastructure project. Although marketed as an answer to current Central and Eastern European gas supply security challenges, the Eastring pipeline is actually mainly focused on issues connected to the Slovak gas transit.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Change history

  • 06 November 2017

    In the version of this Perspective originally published, the accepted date was incorrectly given as 15 October 2017; it should have read 15 September 2017. This has now been corrected in all versions of the Perspective.


  1. 1.

    Högselius, P. Red Gas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

  2. 2.

    Nosko, A. Energy Security in Transition: Coping with Energy Import Dependence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. PhD thesis, Central Eur. Univ. (2013).

  3. 3.

    Sencar, M., Pozeb, V. & Krope, T. Development of EU (European Union) energy market agenda and security of supply. Energy 77, 117–124 (2014).

  4. 4.

    Mišík, M. & Prachárová, V. Before ‘Independence’ arrived: Interdependence in energy relations between Lithuania and Russia. Geopolitics 21, 579–604 (2016).

  5. 5.

    Gałczyński, M., Ruszel, M., Turowski, P., Zajdler, R. & Zawisza, A. Global LNG Market (Ignacy Lukasiewicz Energy Policy Institute, 2017).

  6. 6.

    Binhack, P. & Tichý, L. Asymmetric interdependence in the Czech–Russian energy relations. Energy Policy 45, 54–63 (2012).

  7. 7.

    Mišík, M. The influence of perception on the preferences of the new member states of the European Union: The case of energy policy. Comp. Eur. Polit. 13, 198–221 (2015).

  8. 8.

    Maltby, T. Between amity, enmity and Europeanisation: EU energy security policy and the example of Bulgaria’s Russian energy dependence. Eur.-Asia. Stud. 67, 809–830 (2015).

  9. 9.

    Szulecki, K., Fischer, S., Gullberg, A. T. & Sartor, O. Shaping the ‘Energy Union’: between national positions and governance innovation in EU energy and climate policy. Clim. Policy 16, 548–567 (2016).

  10. 10.

    Annual Report 2015 (Eustream, 2016).

  11. 11.

    McGowan, F. Putting energy insecurity into historical context: European responses to the energy crises of the 1970s and 2000s. Geopolitics 16, 486–511 (2011).

  12. 12.

    Mišík, M. On the way towards the Energy Union: Position of Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia towards external energy security integration. Energy 111, 68–81 (2016).

  13. 13.

    Ropoza, K. Russia won’t renew gas contract with Ukraine. Forbes (25 July 2015).

  14. 14.

    Tagliapietra, S. Energy Relations in the Euro-Mediterranean. A Political Economy Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

  15. 15.

    Quarterly Report on European Gas Market Volume 9 (European Commission, 2016).

  16. 16.

    Natural Gas Consumption Statistics (Eurostat, 2016).

  17. 17.

    Austvik, O. G. The Energy Union and security-of-gas supply. Energy Policy 96, 372–382 (2016).

  18. 18.

    Energy Datasheets: EU-28 Countries (European Commission, 2017).

  19. 19.

    Goldthau, A. Assessing Nord Stream 2: Regulation, Geopolitics & Energy Security in the EU, Central Eastern Europe & the UK (King’s College London, 2016).

  20. 20.

    Afifi, S.  N., Hassan, M.  G. & Zobaa, A.  F. The impacts of the proposed Nabucco gas pipeline on EU common energy policy. Energy Sources Part B Econ. Plan. Policy 8, 14–27 (2013).

  21. 21.

    Franza, L. From South Stream To Turk Stream (Clingendael International Energy Programme, 2015).

  22. 22.

    Construction of TurkStream Gas Pipeline’s Offshore Section Commenced. Gazprom (7 May 2017).

  23. 23.

    Správa o Výsledkoch Monitorovania Bezpečnosti Dodávok Plynu za 2015 (Ministry of Economy of SR, 2016).

  24. 24.

    Russia Plans to Stop Supplying Gas via Ukrainian Pipelines by 2020 (Natural Gas Europe, 2016).

  25. 25.

    Projekt Plynovodu Eastring (Government of the Slovak Republic, 2015).

  26. 26.

    Informačný Materiál na Rokovanie Rady Vlády SR pre Podporu Exportu a Investícií 23. 9. 2015. Sankcie Medzi EÚ a RF — Aktuálny Stav a Dopady (Ministry of Economy of SR, 2015).

  27. 27.

    Eastring Routing (Eastring, accessed 31 August 2017);

  28. 28.

    Capacity & Construction (Eastring, accessed 31 August 2017);

  29. 29.

    Financial Sources (Eastring, accessed 31 August 2017);

  30. 30.

    EU Invests €444 Million in Key Energy Infrastructure (European Commission, 2016).

  31. 31.

    Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/89 of 18 November 2015 Amending Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as Regards the Union List of Projects of Common Interest (European Commission, 2015).

  32. 32.

    Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Short Term Resilience of the European Gas System (European Commission, 2014).

  33. 33.

    Fact Sheet: The Nord Stream Pipeline Project (Nord Stream, 2016).

  34. 34.

    Nord Stream Utilisation Averages 80% in 2016 (Nord Stream, 2017).

  35. 35.

    Siddi, M. The EU’s gas relationship with Russia: solving current disputes and strengthening energy security. Asia Eur. J. 15, 107–117 (2017).

  36. 36.

    Preprava Plynu zo Slovenska na Ukrajinu Medziročne Klesla (energia, 2017).

  37. 37.

    Gas Interconnection Romania — Hungary (European Commission, 2013).

  38. 38.

    Romanova, T. Is Russian energy policy towards the EU only about geopolitics? The case of the Third Liberalisation Package. Geopolitics 21, 857–879 (2016).

  39. 39.

    Jirušek, M., Vlček, T. & Henderson, J. Russia’s energy relations in Southeastern Europe: an analysis of motives in Bulgaria and Greece. Post-Soviet Affairs 33, 335–355 (2017).

  40. 40.

    The European Natural Gas Network (Entsog, 2015);

Download references


This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency, grant no. APVV-16-0062, and the Faculty of Arts (Comenius University in Bratislava), grant no. FG13/2017.

Author information

Author notes

  1. Unaffiliated:


  1. Department of Political Science, Comenius University in Bratislava, Gondova 2, PO Box 32, 814 99, Bratislava, Slovakia

    • Matúš Mišík


  1. Search for Matúš Mišík in:

  2. Search for Andrej Nosko in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matúš Mišík.

About this article

Publication history