Baltic-Ukraine Youth Forum: Future of Energy Security

Baltic-Ukraine Youth Forum took place in Tallinn 03.-05.11.2022. Panel on the "Future of Energy Security" took place where the following people people participated: 

* Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur (Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Estonia)

* Julian Wieczorkiewicz (Analyst, Policy East Section, Security Policy and Political Affairs Division, NATO)

* Andres Mäe (Analyst, International Centre for Defence and Security)

* Bohdan Polovynko (Intern at NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence)

The panel was moderated by Rando Kruusmaa (Estonian Defence League).

Security is associated with lack of threat. Ukraine energy security is a problem, the rest of Europe is struggling but only with price not with security per se. Most people do not focus on energy security issues. We don’t tend to think about it every day, but we must be prepared when energy resources are jeopardised. 

Energy is more than just a resource, it has economic, military implications. It impacts the well being of countries. There is also energy sector poverty with regions not having enough money to cover energy expenses. States will shut down without energy resources. High oil and gas prices are the common agenda for energy companies, and this can be a weapon in the hands of politicians. There is a problem with the current energy market as offshore company ownership is unclear. The controller of energy markets can control free society.

History shows that mankind wars dominate regarding resources. War is an energy intensive business. War always requires a lot of fuel. Today’s fossil fuels, they are the center of interest.
Instead of only focusing on energy security, we should in addition focus on the sector vulnerability as we must also think about cyber intrusions. Energy supply routes and infrastructure should be protected as cyber security attacks can affect energy security. We should have sophisticated air defence system, which can help defend energy infrastructure and we need to find ways to be able to fund these things. Still, the solution is not to just pour in money, we need to select new resources to produce energy. We need more countries to invest in energy. 

NATO pipelines established after Normandy have been discussed even before the Ukraine war, that they should be expanded. The key is enhancing the resources that NATO has. NATO doesn’t do energy policy, NATO does not interfere with these decisions. NATO does not suggest what energy supplies that states should use. NATO energy focuses on the increase of awareness/intelligence reports, dedicated discussions on energy security such as threats, protection of energy infrastructure, ensuring stable and reliance of energy supplies to military forces.

Joseph Paul D'Aquisto in co-operation with Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association based on the panelists at BUYF 2022



The event was supprted by NATO PDD, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation, Estonian Ministry of Defence and Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The content is supported by NATO.