Challenges of U.S. energy policies towards Eastern Europe: The case of Bulgaria

Sidorova E.S.


The article looks into the specifics of energy dialogue between the U.S. and Eastern Europe focusing on the case of Bulgaria – a state that has been among the first ones to shift away from Russian gas citing political rationale despite its high dependence on it. Under the current circumstances, with a reputation of a tough player prone to using coercive means to ensure the competitive advantages of its energy sources on the world market, one could have expected Washington to strengthen bilateral energy relations with Sofia, as the Trump administration laid the institutional foundations for intensifying ties with Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, contacts between the United States and Bulgaria in the energy sector remain limited. The article examines possible reasons for the low intensity of the gas dialogue, namely the insufficient level of LNG infrastructure in the Eastern Europe, its inability to shift from cooperation with Russia to «Transatlantic tracks», as well as the low competitiveness of American hydrocarbons compared to energy carriers from alternative suppliers. The study is based on statistical data on the natural gas trade of state and private enterprises, regulatory legal acts, as well as analytical materials and official statements of politicians. A detailed examination of the Bulgarian case gives a different perspective on the issue of whether U.S. declarative intentions to participate in ensuring the European energy are commensurate with its real abilities.


U.S. energy policies; LNG; Bulgarian gas market; Euro-Atlantic partnership.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.02.07

Download text