The growing EU energy market and the decline of its domestic hydrocarbon reserves have made the EU-Russia energy relations a very debatable and significant issue of the very near future. It is unquestioned that energy trade is found at the core of every political entity or group of entities desiring to be independent and self-helped. The current paper aims to discuss the theoretical legacy of this energy debate on the basis of international relations theory and international political economy underlining the significance of energy trade and its interlinkage to core aspects of security. In this respect, it is also analysed why natural gas is a special energy product and which are the limits between dependence and interdependence as well as the implications derived from each one of these.

Keywords: energy politics, IR theory, EU energy security, Russia, natural gas, grand strategy, European politics, relative gains, international political economy, strategy