Energy security of Belarus, or any other country in the region, can neither be dealt with at the national level alone nor in a zero sum manner. This was the predominant view among participants of the first meeting of the Energy Club that took place in Minsk on 29 October 2009. The Energy Club is a joint initiative of the Office for Democratic Belarus (Brussels, Belgium), the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (Vilnius, Lithuania), and the Foundation for Legal Technologies Development (Kyiv, Ukraine), carried out under the patronage of the European Commission delegation in Belarus with support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The mission of the Energy Club is to establish a platform for dialogue between representatives of the government, national and regional expert community on key issues pertaining to the development of the energy sector in Belarus and regional cooperation in this sphere, including issues of energy efficiency and security.
The first meeting of the Energy Club gathered a diverse audience and attracted prominent domestic and international experts in the field of energy-policies, representatives of the Belarusian ministries, foreign diplomats, journalists and independent analysts. A full day was dedicated to debates on most controversial energy-related issues. The range of topics included: the problems of energy security in Belarus (i.e. components, challenges and threats); the perspectives and the risks of involving Belarus in the regionalization of energy systems and “lessons learned” from regional ‘gas wars’. The discussion has demonstrated the significance of having a well-organized dialogue between representatives of different countries, organizations and positions. The Energy Club organizers are looking forward to continuing this dialogue with the aim of achieving a broader consensus on energy-related issues and policies. The next seating of the club is scheduled to take place in the beginning of February 2010. A policy paper summarizing findings of the debate will be released in early 2010.
The presentations of the speakers in Russian will shortly be available on the web site of ODB, BISS and Nashe Mneniye.
Download program of the event (in Russian).
The Conference was held in cooperation with the Nashe Mnenie portal and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The Office for a Democratic Belarus extends its gratitude all the partners that helped make this project possible.