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Morena Skalamera

Leiden University

Based in


Morena Skalamera is Assistant Professor of Russian and International Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Before joining Leiden University, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Her academic interests lie in the political economy of the low carbon transition, energy security, and the geopolitics of energy in Eurasia.

Country(ies) of Specialty

China Kazakhstan Russia

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Net Zero Fossil fuels Renewable energy

How to Connect


Journal Articles

EU-Russia Cooperation in a Rapidly Changing Interregional Gas Market.Journal of Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment, issue 3, Franco Angeli ed., December 2013.

Italy’s Path to Gas Liberalization: corporate power, monopoly distortions and the Russian factor.Journal of Contemporary Italian Politics, April 2015.

The Ukraine Crisis: The Neglected Gas Factor,” Orbis, Summer 2015.

Energy Security in the Wake of the Ukraine Crisis: Getting the Real Threats Right,” Global Policy, July 2015.

A Kink in the Pipeline. Why Turkish-Russian Gas Diplomacy Won’t End Well for Ankara,”Foreign Affairs, October 11, 2015.

Invisible but not Indivisible: Russia, the European Union, and the Importance of “Hidden Governance,” Energy Research and Social Science, Vol. 12, February 2016, Pages 27–49. o“Revisiting the Nabucco Debacle: Myths and Realities,” Problems of Post-Communism, August 2016.

Sino-Russian Energy Relations Reversed: A New Little Brother,” Energy Strategy Reviews, August 2016.

Russia’s Lasting Influence in Central Asia,” Survival, 59:6, 2017.

Understanding Russia’s Energetic Turn to China: Domestic Narratives and National Identity Priorities,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 34:1, 2018.

Explaining the 2014 Sino-Russian Gas Breakthrough: the Primacy of Domestic Politics,”Europe-Asia Studies, Issue 1, January 2018.

Uncovering the Domestic Factor in the Sino-Russian Energy Partnership“, Geopolitics. October 2018.

The Silk Road between a Rock and a Hard Place: Russian and Chinese Competition for Central Asia’s Energy,” Insight Turkey, December 2018.

Political Transition on the Great Steppe: The Case of Kazakhstan,” Survival, January 2020.

Circling the Barrels: Kazakhstan’s Regime Consolidation in the wake of the 2014 OilBust,Central Asia Survey, September 2020 (published online 14 Sept 2020).

The 2020 Oil Price Dive in a Carbon Constrained Era: Strategies for Energy Exporters in Central Asia,” International Affairs, November 2020, Chatham House.

‘“Greening” over the transatlantic divide: domestic constraints and the possibility of renewed cooperation.’ Philadelphia: Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania. 2021

The Southern gas corridor and the new geopolitics of climate change,” Baku Dialogues 4(3): 70-86., 2021.

With Seckin Kostem, “The dual transformation in development finance: western multilateral development banks and China in post-Soviet energy.Review of International Political Economy, 2021.

Steppe-ing’ out of Russia’s shadow: Russia’s changing ‘energy power’ in post-Soviet Eurasia. Europe-Asia Studies, 74(9), pp.1640-1656. 2022.

The Geopolitics of Energy after the Invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Quarterly, Spring 2023.


Book Chapters

With Nadiya Kravets “Russia’s Energy Diplomacy and its Influence on the Caucasus and Central Asia” in David Dyker, ed., Energy, The World Scientific Reference on Globalisation in Eurasia and the Pacific Rim, Imperial College Press, London, January 2015.

With Fabio Farinosi Energy Transitions in the Carbon Consuming Countries: Italyin Robert E. Looney ed. The Routledge Handbook of Transitions to Energy and Climate Security, New York, Routledge, 2016.

The Domestic Factor in the IPE of Eurasian Gas Trade,” in Kuzemko, C. Goldthau A., and Keating M. F. ed., Handbook of International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, Edward Elgar, January 2018.

Explaining the Emerging Sino-Russian Energy Partnership,” in Jo Inge Bekkevold and Bobo Lo ed., New perspectives on Sino-Russian Relations, Palgrave, August 2018.

Russia’s Foray into Asian Energy Markets,” in Elizabeth Buchanan ed. Russia’s energy strategy in the Asia Pacific: implications for Australia, Australian National University Press. April 2021.

The EU’s Low-Carbon Policies and Implications for Arctic Energy Projects: The Russian Case.” In: Likhacheva A. (Ed.) Arctic Fever Political, Economic & Environmental Aspects.: Palgrave Macmillan. 333-354. 2022.

A ‘Steppe’ into the Void: Central Asia in the Post-Oil World” in Sabyrbekov, R. Overland, I., Vakulchuk, R. ed. Climate Change in Central Asia. Springer Nature. April 2023.

With Christine Milchram, “Exploring the geopolitical impacts of energy justice: An interdisciplinary research agenda” in Scholten, D. ed. Handbook on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transition. Edward Elgar Publishing. Forthcoming.

Book Reviews

Skalamera M. (2022), Review of: Makarov I. A. & et al. (2021) Povorot k prirode: Novaia ekologicheskaia politika Rossii v usloviiakh “zelenoi” transformatsii mirovoi ekonomiki i politiki. Doklad po itogam serii situatsionnykh analizov, The Russian Review 81(4): 752-796.

White Papers and Policy Briefs

Booming Synergies in Sino-Russian Natural Gas Partnership.” White Paper, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 2014.

Pipeline Pivot: Why Russia and China are Poised to Make Energy History,Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 2014.

The Sino-Russian Gas Partnership: Explaining the May 2014 Breakthrough.” White Paper, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, November 2014.

The Russian Reality Check on Turkey’s Gas Hub Hopes,Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, January 2016.

With Andreas Goldthau, “Goodbye or Simply Hardball? Debunking myths about Russia in Eurasia’s new geopolitics of gas,” White Paper, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, June 2016.

With Meghan O’Sullivan, The Russian Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) Report, December 2018.

Other Publications and Materials

Climate Policy According to Gazprom.” Open Democracy, February 6, 2015.

Sino-Russian Energy Relations Reversed: A New Little Brother,” Open Democracy, December 22, 2015.

Getting Russian Gas to Europe: Old Relationships Sprout New Wings” E-IR Essay, September 2017.

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too.” Russia Matters, May 30, 2018.

Teaching Materials

With Rawi Abdelal and Sogomon Tarontsi, “The Sino-Russian Rapprochement: Energy Relations in a New Era.” Harvard Business School Case 715-016, March 2015.

With Rawi Abdelal and Marat Atnashev, “Russia: Tribulations and Toska.” Harvard Business School Case 716-074, March 2016.


Russia’s Gas Pact with China Not About Ukraine.” Op-ed in The Moscow Times, May 26, 2014.

EU Must Resist Temptation of Energy Union.” Op-ed in The Moscow Times, October 29, 2014.

Putin’s Asian Strategy 2015.” Commentary, The National Bureau of Asian Research, December 2014.

China Can’t Solve Russia’s Energy Technology Trap.” Op-ed in The Diplomat, February 13, 2015.

Selected Media Appearances and Quotes

China and Russia Reach 30-Year Gas Deal, The New York Times, May 21, 2014

Russia Pours Hot Oil on Wounded Ties with Turkey, Foreign Policy, December 2, 2015.

In the Race for Central Asia’s Gas, China’s Rise Comes at Russia’s Expense, World Politics Review, Interview, January 26, 2018.

Power Markets: How Russian gas ended up on U.S. shores, E&E News, March 21, 2018.

Programme on the Geopolitics of the Global Gas Industry, Radio interview with the BBC, July 30, 2019.

Work in Progress

Russia’s Energy Relations in Europe and Eurasia.” Book manuscript forthcoming, Cornell University Press.

The varying levels of climate delayism in Central Asia: consequences for the region’s geopolitics of the energy transition,” Under Review, Central Asian Survey.

Sino-Russian Energy Relations after the invasion of Ukraine. Osteuropa. Forthcoming. July 2023.