The Geoeconomic Dialogue (2006–2009)
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This chapter aims to show how space influenced the Energy Dialogue, and its failure to define common narrative for a binding energy partnership. Energy is a commodity that is dependent on physical transportation across vast distances. Geopolitics, or in this case geoeconomics, was crucial to the EU–Russia Energy Dialogue. The ultimate objective of the Energy Dialogue was a ‘Unified’ (Lamoureux) or ‘Greater’ (Putin) Europe. Similarly, space was also central to Bakhtin’s concept of dialogue. For Bakhtin, space, like time, was at once part of the a priori basis of cognition, but also a highly contested concept. A recent example of this is the status of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which Moscow today claims is part of Russia, after annexing it in March 2014. This makes dialogue similar to what in recent years has become known as critical geopolitics, the basic concept of which is that we construct narratives about space, which in turn influence how we perceive politics, people and places. Europe looked very different from Moscow than from Brussels—or from Kiev, Tallinn or Warsaw, for that matter.