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The Implementation of Trump’s Energy Dominance Policy in Central European Countries

Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Tadahiro Yamada

Abstract

An important element of the energy policy of the administration of 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, was to increase the sale of American LNG abroad and gain global dominance in the energy field. This policy was also directed toward Europe. The article aims to analyze how energy cooperation between the United States and Central European countries (Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland) developed during Donald Trump’s presidency (2017-2021). The research addresses the extent to which Central European countries were the place where the Trump administration’s energy policy was implemented; Did Central European countries treat the US administration’s policy in similar ways? What might have resulted from the different approaches of individual countries? The method adopted in the article is a case study and process tracing. Content and discourse analysis are also employed. To achieve the goal of the paper, the Trump administration’s energy dominance policy will be analyzed first. Next, the US energy relations with Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland will be examined. Of the Central European countries, only Poland implemented the premises of the Trump administration’s policy. The differences between the countries analyzed originated in different attitudes towards Russia and the desire to make their energy sectors independent of Moscow.

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1. Introduction

  • 1 Lisa Friedman, "Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Doctrine Is Undermined by Climate Change," The New York (...)

1The 45th United States President, Donald J. Trump, pushed a new branding of American energy policy, called Energy Dominance, aimed at transforming the United States (US) from a net energy importer and energy-dependent country into a global energy superpower that would dominate the world energy market.1 In order to implement this policy, the US increased exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to other markets and pushed European countries to buy natural gas from US producers as a putative way to reduce European dependence on Russian gas supplies, and strongly protested construction of the Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 (NS2) during the years 2017-2021. One of the European regions on which the Trump administration focused his attention was Central Europe.

  • 2 Edward J. Salazar, "US ‘Core’ Interests in Europe and Central Europe at Risk?" Államtudományi Mûhel (...)

2Central European countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary) have rarely been the focal point of American foreign policy since the fall of the Iron Curtain, except for the period of their admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2 The initiatives of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, including the abandonment of plans to build anti-missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of a single project known as the missile defense shield, a declared pivot to Asia, and the initial reset with Russia in 2009 further evoked the feeling that the Central European countries were not essential allies for the US. For the Trump administration, however, the region of Central Europe—with a population of almost 64 million people (nearly as many as France)—became a crucial area for pursuing American interests, particularly in the realm of energy.

  • 3 Klaus Larres, "Angela Merkel and Donald Trump—Values, Interests, and the Future of the West," in Ge (...)
  • 4 European Steel Association (EUROFER), "European Steel in Figures 2021" (2021): 15, https://www.euro (...)
  • 5 Andrew Richter, "NATO in the Age of Trump: Alliance Defense Spending during the Trump Presidency," (...)
  • 6 Larres, "Angela Merkel and Donald Trump," 47-67.

3Central Europe became an important area for the Trump administration due to the deteriorating relations with traditional US allies in Western Europe, in particular France and Germany.3 Several important issues contributed to this situation. The primary significance arose from the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on European steel and aluminum, which led to retaliatory measures from the European Union. This imposition of tariffs particularly impacted Germany, which, from the 1990s through the first decade of the twenty-first century, was the leading crude steel producer within the European Union, accounting for more than one-quarter of the crude steel produced within the bloc in 2020.4 Equally significant were the decisions by the Trump administration to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change in June 2017 and from the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany) in May 2018. Additionally, Trump’s significant criticism of NATO allies, particularly Germany, was directed at their inadequate defense spending.5 This critique underscored ongoing tensions within the alliance regarding financial contributions and burden sharing. The Trump administration’s criticism of Germany regarding its involvement in the construction of the NS2 pipeline also merited attention. This critique, which occurred throughout Trump’s presidency, particularly intensified around the year 2018, underscored significant geopolitical tensions and highlighted differing energy security strategies between the US and Germany.6 Notwithstanding its aforementioned actions, the Trump administration did not target the Central European countries, which demonstrated a greater willingness to cooperate.

  • 7 Caroline Fehl and Johannes Thimm, "Dispensing With the Indispensable Nation?: Multilateralism Minus (...)
  • 8 Adrian Chojan, "The United States on the Three Seas Initiative," Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo- (...)
  • 9 Karolina Gawron-Tabor, "Challenges and Threats to the Security of the Visegrad Group Countries: Int (...)
  • 10 U.S. Department of Energy, "Readout of Secretary Perry’s Visit to Warsaw, Poland," Energy.Gov, Nove (...)

4It is important to note that despite the Trump administration’s general opposition to multilateralism and its withdrawal from climate and trade agreements, multilateral arms control initiatives and UN bodies7, it supported regional multilateral cooperation in Central Europe. An illustrative example of this was the Trump administration’s support for the Three Seas Initiative (TSI), which was established in 2015. The initiative has aimed to foster economic growth and enhance energy security through increased connectivity between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas.8 President Trump endorsed this initiative not only as part of his broader strategy to counterbalance Russian and Chinese influence in Central and Eastern Europe, but also as it facilitated the development of region infrastructure that would be beneficial for receiving American LNG. For the Trump administration, bilateral cooperation with Central European countries was also important. During Trump’s presidency, the US president met in the White House with Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban; the prime minister of Slovakia, Petr Pellegrin; the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, and the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Donald Trump also visited Poland during the second summit of the TSI in July 2017.9 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Central European countries including Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, in 2019, and the Czech Republic and Poland in 2020. The meetings conducted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry with prime ministers and ministers responsible for energy were of substantial importance, particularly in light of the Trump administration’s policy focused on securing new clients for American energy resources.10

5This article seeks to analyze the development of energy cooperation between the United States and the Central Europe countries (Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland) during Donald Trump’s presidency in the years 2017-2021. The research addresses the question of whether Central European countries were indeed the focal points for the implementation of the Trump administration’s energy policy. Did each Central European country treat the Trump administration’s policy the same way? What resulted from the different approaches of individual countries? The method adopted in the article is a case study and process tracing. Content and discourse analysis are used to make sense of the primary and secondary data on which the study is based. In order to achieve the goal of the paper, the Trump administration’s energy dominance policy will be analyzed first. Next, US energy relations with Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. We conclude that the energy policy of the Trump administration, which sought to promote US energy exports, particularly liquefied natural gas, and reduce Russian energy dominance in Europe was implemented with varying degrees of engagement and effectiveness across Central European nations. Among these countries, only Poland embraced the premises of the Trump administration’s policy. The disparities observed in the region stemmed from differing attitudes toward Russia and varying desires to achieve energy independence from Moscow. Consequently, these factors led to a non-uniform regional response and a fragmented approach to the implementation of Trump’s energy dominance policy.

2. The Trump Administration’s Energy Policy

  • 11 Peter Z. Grossman, U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure (Cambridge: Cambridge University P (...)
  • 12 Robert A. Manning, "The Shale Revolution and the New Geopolitics of Energy," Atlantic Council, Octo (...)
  • 13 White House, "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America," 2017a, https://trump (...)
  • 14 Laurance R. Geri and David E. McNabb, Energy Policy in the U.S.: Politics, Challenges, and Prospect (...)
  • 15 Amro Zakaria, "U.S. Energy Dominance: From Whale Oil to Shale; How the New U.S. Energy Doctrine Wil (...)

6From the late 1970s through the first decade of the twenty-first century, American energy policy was predominantly centered on achieving energy independence and security. The country’s primary motive was rooted in the oil crisis of 1973, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an oil embargo. The oil embargo left the US feeling vulnerable and exposed by the extent of its dependence on oil from the Middle East.11 The United States resolved to establish a strategic oil reserve and enacted legislation prohibiting domestic oil producers from exporting crude oil, thereby securing its energy resources. The so-called shale revolution, which refers to the rapid increase in the production of shale oil and gas driven by advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies, began in the late 2000s and accelerated in 2010, significantly increasing US domestic oil and natural gas production and reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources. It has affected everything from the makeup of the global energy market to America’s core strategic interests abroad.12 The US went from an energy-dependent country to a self-sufficient exporter. During his four-year term, Donald Trump’s administration published only one National Security Strategy document, in 2017.13 This strategic framework was structured around four principal pillars, each designed to guide the administration’s security priorities. These pillars included: protecting the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life; promoting American prosperity through economic security and technological innovation; preserving peace through strength by rebuilding military capabilities and enhancing defense; and advancing American influence by promoting democratic values and fostering positive global engagement. Within this strategic framework, the policy of energy dominance was perceived by the Trump administration as a mechanism to bolster the US economy and ensure its international status. It is noteworthy that the new US energy policy was articulated by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry during a White House press briefing in June 2017. He said that the US was seeking to gain energy dominance for the first time. This statement may not fully align with historical facts. In reality, the concept of strengthening the US position in the global energy market has been a recurrent theme in American energy policy across various administrations.14 The statement was reiterated by Trump at an Unleashing American Energy event in June 2017 in Washington, D.C.15 Trump stated that America would

  • 16 White House, "President Trump Vows to Usher in Golden Era of American Energy Dominance," 2017b, htt (...)

No longer be vulnerable to foreign regimes that use energy as an economic weapon; American families will have access to cheaper energy, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned dollars; and workers will have access to more jobs and opportunities.16

  • 17 Asma Sana Bilal and Nabiya Imran, "Emerging Contours of Transatlantic Relationship under Trump Admi (...)
  • 18 Farid Guliyev, "Trump’s 'America First' Energy Policy, Contingency and the Reconfiguration of the G (...)

7However, there are several criticisms of the policy. Opponents have mentioned that it undermined transatlantic relations17 and also diverges from multilateral frameworks.18 As Schneider and Peeples state:

  • 19 Jen Schneider and Jennifer Peeples, "Energy Dominance," in Routledge Handbook of Energy Democracy, (...)

Implied in the name “Energy Dominance” is the notion that the United States can enter foreign energy markets and dominate them economically without being beholden to any multilateral environmental agreements in which it might have to compromise.19

  • 20 Friedman, "Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Doctrine."

8Critics have also noted that the policy emphasized expanding coal and oil production and weakening environmental regulations, including those that address climate change.20

9To grasp the intricacies of the energy dominance policy, it is important to analyze two pivotal elements: the conditions of the international energy market that the United States encounters, and the energy relationship between the US and Europe.

  • 21 Carole Nakhle, "Shale Gas Brings Revolution to the World Gas Markets," GIS Reports, May 16, 2022, h (...)
  • 22 Ibid.

10During the Trump presidency, the United States experienced a significant increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, which impacted the global gas market.21 LNG is a form of natural gas that is cooled to a liquid state for transportation and can be traded globally. The three main LNG markets—North America, Europe, and Asia—represent major demand centers for LNG.22 Each market has distinct pricing mechanisms, supply sources, and demand drivers.

  • 23 Ibid.
  • 24 Ibid.
  • 25 Ibid.

11Europe and Asia have become essential markets for American suppliers. Europe has been an essential market for LNG imports due to its diversification efforts, increasing demand, and decreasing domestic production.23 Asia, and particularly countries like China, Japan, and South Korea, represents a significant LNG market, due to their high energy demand.24 Moreover, the Fukushima incident in Japan in 2011 drove nuclear energy into slack; consequently, Germany, the largest economy in the European Union, opted to phase out nuclear energy and substitute it with natural gas. LNG gave these two regions a flexible alternative to compensate for this shortfall. Furthermore, the US has an advantage with flexible spot pricing when trading LNG gas, and it impacts long-term contract countries. Following the shale revolution in the United States, major exporters like Russia and Qatar were compelled to reconsider the terms of their contracts, shifting towards greater flexibility to protect their business interests.25

  • 26 U.S. Department of Energy, "Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage. A Strategy to (...)

12Nuclear energy was a significant element of the dominance policy adopted by the Trump administration. In July 2019, this administration established the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG) to revitalize American nuclear power. In April 2020, the NFWG outlined the official strategy of “Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage” to assure the US national security further in the name of the Department of Energy (DOE) with the recognition that uranium imports affect the national security of America.26

  • 27 Sonal Patel, "Nuclear Fuel Working Group Outlines How U.S. Could Regain Global Leadership," POWER M (...)
  • 28 U.S. Congress, "Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017," https://www.congress.gov/115/p (...)
  • 29 U.S. Congress, "Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act," legislation, January 14, 2019, ht (...)

13The Trump regime succeeded in passing two nuclear energy promotion bills by involving broad bipartisan support.27 The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017 aimed to accelerate the development of advanced reactors in the United States by eliminating some financial and technological barriers to nuclear innovation.28 The second bill, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act of 2019, was enacted to establish performance metrics and milestones for licensing and other regulatory actions.29 This act requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to develop a regulatory framework for America’s innovators who pursue the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies.

  • 30 U.S. Department of Energy, "Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage."
  • 31 Ibid.

14Regarding domestic and international security, the NFWG described Russia’s “weaponizing” its energy supply to dominate the nuclear market, which was seen by the Trump administration as threatening the future American uranium market.30 The NFWG articulated that certain state-owned enterprises, such as those in Russia, could compel nations to rely on uranium exporters and fuel services through bilateral agreements. To protect against future uranium dumping in the US market, the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA) extension act was signed in 2020 with a maximum cap on Russian uranium importation.31 Secondly, the energy cooperation between the US and Europe was pivotal for the Trump administration’s energy dominance policy during its tenure from 2017 to 2021.

  • 32 European Commission, "Joint U.S.-EU Statement Following President Juncker’s Visit to the White Hous (...)
  • 33 Nakhle, Shale Gas brings revolution to the World Gas Markets.
  • 34 Vladimir Kutcherov et al., "Russian Natural Gas Exports: An Analysis of Challenges and Opportunitie (...)
  • 35 Michał Kędzierski, "At All Costs. Germany Shifts to LNG," OSW Commentary, April 28, 2023, https://w (...)
  • 36 Moniek de Jong, "Too Little, Too Late? US Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and the Transatlantic Rel (...)

15The European Union endeavored to diminish its reliance on Russian gas following the conflict in the Caucasus region in 2008 and Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Consequently, the EU was contemplating the adoption of more flexible LNG options from the United States. In 2018, the European Union formalized a strategic cooperation agreement on energy to increase LNG imports from the United States.32 However, the energy interdependence between Europe and Russia has significantly impeded US exports. Over the past 40 years, Europe served as the primary market for Russian gas, and the dependency between the two was substantial.33 An important constraint for American LNG was also the gas price. Russian natural gas exported to Europe via gas pipelines was considered to be competitive as it was cheaper than that from North America in years 2013-2016.34 In addition, EU member states lacked the appropriate infrastructure to receive LNG in 2018. For example, Germany did not have a terminal for receiving LNG until November 2022, but it did have a gas pipeline directly connected to Russia.35 Consequently, the dispute between the US and Europe regarding the NS2, which was signed in 2015 and has been operational since 2021 to transport gas from Russia directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea, and the second line of the TurkStream project, which was signed in 2016 and has been operational since 2020 to transport gas from Russia through Turkey to Southern and Southeastern Europe, arose directly from the US enacting sanctions against these two pipelines.36

3. Hungary

  • 37 White House, “Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Orbán of Hungary Before Bilateral Meeti (...)
  • 38 Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism (Ne (...)

16The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States in 2016 changed the dynamics of relations between Hungary and the United States. In 2019, Trump and Viktor Orban met in Washington, and the visit was hailed by both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Hungary as a symbolic step towards improving relations between Hungary and the United States.37 Despite Orbán and Trump sharing similar personalities that employ “populist rhetoric to legitimize [their] style of governance, while promoting authoritarian values,”38 Viktor Orbán prioritized strong relations and energy connections with Russia. As Hungarian scholars Bálint Madlovics and Bálint Magyar note:

  • 39 Bálint Madlovics and Bálint Magyar, "Hungary’s Dubious Loyalty: Orbán’s Regime Strategy in the Russ (...)

Between 2010 and 2022, Orbán met Putin 11 times, both in Moscow and in Budapest. These diplomatic meetings were typically followed by press releases on both the Russian and Hungarian sides, praising the other country and looking forward to developing closer economic relations.39

  • 40 Benedek Pál, Áron Szászi, and Gergely Varga, "The Place of Central Europe on Donald Trump’s Map: Co (...)
  • 41 International Energy Agency, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Hungary 2022 Review (2022), 123, htt (...)
  • 42 Ibid., 122.
  • 43 Ibid., 131.
  • 44 Ibid., 14.

17Regarding energy cooperation between the United States and Hungary between 2017 and 2021, it is important to highlight that the collaboration focused on multiple sectors. These sectors included natural gas and energy security, nuclear energy, which were critical components of the Trump administration’s initiatives.40 The issue of coal was not raised during the talks because Hungary imported coal from the US anyway (46% in 2020) 41, and coal demand in Hungary decreased by 25% between 2010 and 2020.42 Regarding natural gas and energy security, it should be noted that gas comprised 33% of the total energy supply and 26% of electricity generation in 2020.43 Hungary relied primarily on imports, particularly from Russia (95% in 2020).44

  • 45 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto," Uni (...)
  • 46 Pál, Szászi, and Varga, "The Place of Central Europe," 6-7.

18The topic of energy diversification and security in Hungary was addressed in high-level discussions between Hungarian and American officials. These meetings, held in Budapest in 2019, featured Michael R. Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.45 The key here was mainly the issue of the purchase of American gas by Hungary and the creation of conditions enabling this purchase, namely: 1) built interconnectors to neighboring countries, including Slovakia, Romania, and Croatia, with the ability to reverse flows; 2) cooperation with Croatia to make use of the Krk LNG terminal; 3) involvement in the exploitation and export of off-shore Black Sea gas from Romania to Hungary, in which the US-based company Exxon is involved; 4) contribution to the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (TSII Fund), which is closely linked to the broader TSI, serves as its key financial mechanism in facilitating the execution of infrastructure projects across the transportation, energy, and digital sectors within the countries between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic seas.46

19However, the Hungarian narrative was ambiguous. On the one hand, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, declared in 2018 that:

  • 47 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, "Hungary and the United States Have Confirmed Their Strategi (...)

The United States will be playing a significant role in securing Hungary’s energy supply because we have been promised that the American administration also supports shipping American natural gas to be extracted from Romania to Hungary.47

  • 48 Evelin Szőke, "Hungary Signs Historic Long-Term Gas Supply Agreement with Shell," September 5, 2020 (...)
  • 49 Pál, Szászi, and Varga, "Convergence and Divergence on Economy-Related Issues (2)," 6-7.

20During this period, specific agreements were formalized between Hungary and the United States. In 2020, the Hungarian gas pipeline operator FGSZ signed an agreement with the American company Cheniere Energy (Shell) to increase LNG supplies to Hungary.48 Hungary also planned to build a gas connection with Croatia, enabling the supply of American LNG gas from the terminal in Croatian Krk.49 However, these actions were deemed insufficient in light of the need to increase the import of gas from the United States and reduce the volume of gas purchased from Russia by Hungary. In Hungary’s narrative, limited cooperation in this area was primarily attributed to the United States. As noted by Shijarto:

  • 50 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto."

We have implemented all necessary investments to diversify our gas acquisition sources. Now, we are in the position that it is solely up to our allies whether we can diversify our sources. If ExxonMobil decides in favor of exploring gas in Romania so that we can buy gas from Romania or the Croatians if they come up with a fair price quotation, then we could also buy from the Krk LNG terminal in the Krk, the isle of Krk.50

  • 51 Marton Dunai, "Hungary Joins Gazprom Pipeline, as Trump Touts U.S. LNG," Reuters, July 5, 2017, htt (...)
  • 52 Benjamin Novak and Andrew Higgins, "Facing Tough Election, Orban Turns to Putin for Support," The N (...)
  • 53 Maciej Zaniewicz and Veronika Jóźwiak, "Prospects for the Diversification of Natural Gas and Oil Su (...)

21Moreover, Orban signed other gas deals with Russia during the same period. Notably, Hungary entered into a contract with Russia's Gazprom to connect to the TurkStream pipeline by the close of 2019. This agreement was finalized on July 5, 2017, precisely one day prior to President Donald Trump’s visit to Poland. During his visit, President Trump was expected to advocate for the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG).51 Orban has consistently regarded Russia as a dependable ally in the energy sector. He articulated that the availability of Russian gas enables Hungary to supply it affordably to its citizens.52 It should be noted that for over a decade, successive Orban administrations have prioritized diversifying routes for gas supplies to Hungary rather than diversifying the sources, with Russia being the predominant supplier.53 From the perspective of route (not source) diversification, any pipeline project that decreases Hungary’s dependence on the Ukrainian transit has been considered by Orban part of the solution for Hungary’s energy challenges.

  • 54 Martin Jirušek, "The Attitude of the Visegrad Group Countries towards Russian Infrastructural Proje (...)

22Unlike the United States, Hungary had not criticized the NS2 gas pipeline construction.54 According to Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, it was enormously hypocritical and an example of political correctness in the European political arena to accuse some Central European countries of supporting Russian infrastructure projects:

  • 55 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto."

Look, it is not the Hungarians, and it is not the Central European energy companies that are preparing and building NS2 together with Gazprom. It was not the Hungarian prime minister to be invited as a superstar at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, but it was the French president. It was not the leaders of the Hungarian energy companies to sit together on the stage with President Putin on the last Russian energy week, but the CEOs of the biggest Western European energy companies.55

  • 56 Three Seas Initiative, "Hungary Also to Join Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund," September 27, (...)
  • 57 Tomasz Żornaczuk, Kinga Dudzińska, Veronika Jóźwiak, Łukasz Ogrodnik, and Jakub Pieńkowski, "Promot (...)

23Hungary refrained from pledging financial support to the TSI Fund during the Trump presidency, committing to it only in 2022. 56Orban has regarded the TSI as an optional regional cooperation framework, potentially complementing funding for ongoing infrastructure projects and reinforcing transatlantic relations.57

  • 58 "Atomic Energy. Nuclear Safety. Arrangement Between the United States of America and Hungary," sign (...)
  • 59 Pami Aalto, Heino Nyyssönen, Matti Kojo, and Pallavi Pal, "Russian Nuclear Energy Diplomacy in Finl (...)
  • 60 Krisztina Than, "Special Report - Inside Hungary's 10 Billion Euro Nuclear Deal with Russia," Reute (...)
  • 61 David M. Herszenhorn, Sara Stefanini, and Nicholas Hirst, "Questions Grow over Hungarian No-Bid Nuc (...)
  • 62 Wojciech Ostrowski and Eamonn Butler, Understanding Energy Security in Central and Eastern Europe: (...)

24The United States and Hungary also cooperated to a limited extent in nuclear energy during the Trump administration. This cooperation took place primarily in the context of peaceful nuclear energy development and non-proliferation efforts. In March 2017, they signed the Atomic Energy Arrangement for Nuclear Safety.58 However, on the critical issue—the expansion of the nuclear power plant in Paks—Russia remained Hungary’s partner.59 Under a deal reached in 2014, Russia loaned Hungary €10 billion (approximately $11.2 billion) to finance the construction of two new units at the Paks nuclear plant by Russia’s state-owned Rosatom.60 The American Westinghouse Electric Company pointed out that it would have been able to technically implement the construction of two new reactors. This assertion countered the argument about technical exclusivity, which claimed that none of the potential partners for the project were eligible for the construction because only Rosatom could meet the technical requirements of the Hungarian regulation.61 Both the United States and the European Union have expressed concern about this project.62

25It appeared that the support Orban provided to Trump during the 2016 election campaign, along with positive remarks exchanged between both leaders, would result in closer energy relations. However, Orban approached politics by preferring to strengthen dependence on Russia.

4. Slovakia

  • 63 Łukasz Ogrodnik, "Slovakia’s Relations with the United States," Bulletin PISM, no. 164 (1410), Nove (...)

26Energy cooperation between the United States and Slovakia between 2017 and 2021, as in the case of Hungary, focused on several areas, including improving energy security through diversifying energy sources and suppliers. It should be emphasized, however, that in Slovakia’s case, defense and cooperation issues within NATO were more critical.63

  • 64 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic. Energy System of Slovak Republic," https://www.iea.o (...)
  • 65 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic. Natural Gas Supply," https://www.iea.org/countries/s (...)
  • 66 Krzysztof Dębiec, "Slovakia: Strategic Dilemmas after the Russian Invasion of Ukraine," OSW Comment (...)
  • 67 Łukasz Lewkowicz and Michał Paszkowski, "Slovakia Resists Construction of the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pip (...)

27Natural gas is a significant energy source in the Slovak Republic. In 2022, it was the third-largest source of total primary energy supply (TPES), just below nuclear energy and oil, and second (after oil) in total final consumption (TFC).64 The Slovak Republic is primarily an importer of natural gas. In 2022, Slovakia’s gas imports accounted for around 98% of the total domestic gas consumption.65 Slovakia is one of the EU countries most heavily dependent on Russian hydrocarbons: in 2020, their share in crude oil imports was 100% (the only such case in the EU), and in the case of natural gas, 85% (fourth place in the EU)66 Slovakia still has two contracts for natural gas supply from Russia, valid until 2028.67

  • 68 White House. "Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Pellegrini of the Slovak Republic Befor (...)
  • 69 Lydia Woellwarth, "Construction Begins on Poland-Slovakia Gas Pipeline," World Pipelines, September (...)
  • 70 Szalai, Pavol. 2017. “Slovakia’s Energy Policy in 2016: Struggling for Interconnectors.” In Yearboo (...)

28During the US-Slovak talks, the issue of ensuring energy security by gaining access to gas from the LNG terminal in Świnoujście was raised. Regarding the expansion of the gas infrastructure, there was an agreement between the representatives of Slovakia and the United States during the talks.68 Slovakia supported the construction of the gas connector with Poland, which has been under construction since 2018.69 It claimed that the infrastructure would provide access to future new supplies to Slovakia, as well as to Hungary and Poland. As part of the North-South Corridor, the Slovak-Polish and Slovak-Hungarian interconnections were designed to link the Polish terminal for LNG with the Southern Corridor in Greece, thereby opening doors to new supplies from the Caspian and East Mediterranean regions.70

  • 71 Matúš Mišík, External Energy Security in the European Union: Small Member States’ Perspective (Rout (...)
  • 72 Łukasz Lewkowicz, “Slovakia Resists Construction of the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline,” IEŚ Commentari (...)

29Slovakia has also been against the launch of the second branch of the NS2 since the commencement of discussions by Russia and Germany in 2015. The project was treated negatively in Slovakia, regardless of which political wing was in power (at least, in the declarative sphere). The construction of the NS2 gas pipeline approval by the German authorities, which included permits allowing the pipeline to pass through their territorial waters and for landfall in Germany, was one of the most critical challenges for Slovakia’s energy policy in 2018. The Slovak government feared that this pipeline would enable almost total replacement of the Brotherhood pipeline as a transit route of Russian gas to Europe, which would result in significant economic losses from decreased transit fees.71 Russia repeatedly offered the Slovak side cooperation in implementing the NS2 and TurkStream projects. Such a proposal appeared on June 5, 2019, during the meeting of the prime ministers of Slovakia (Peter Pellegrini) and Russia (Dmitry Medvedev) in Moscow.72 Concerning energy and the TSI, Bratislava supported the broad objectives of diversification and infrastructure development. Slovakia’s involvement in the TSI has remained insignificant, and the willingness to promote it at the presidential level has declined.

  • 73 World Nuclear News, “Westinghouse Signs Bohunice V1 Dismantling Contract,” September 28, 2017, http (...)
  • 74 World Nuclear News, "Upgrades for Slovakian and Korean Simulators," World Nuclear News, August 16, (...)

30During the Trump administration, Slovakia partnered with the United States in nuclear energy. From 2017 to 2021, Slovakia operated four nuclear reactors: two at the Jaslovské Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant and two at the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant. Concurrently, efforts were made to commission two additional reactors (Units 3 and 4) at Mochovce, although these were not operational before the end of 2021. Additionally, Slovakia maintained reactors that had been permanently decommissioned prior to 2017 at Jaslovské Bohunice. In 2017, the American company Westinghouse Electric Company signed a contract with Jadrová a vyraďovacia spoločnosť (JAVYS) for the dismantling of the reactor coolant systems of two units at the Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power plant.73 In addition, the American company GSE Solution has signed a contract with Slovenské Elektrárne, the owner of Slovak reactors, to update the simulator for the reactors in Mochovce, with GSE as the prime contractor for the project.74

31Despite the willingness to cooperate on both sides, Slovak-Hungarian relations did not bring measurable results. At that time, the Slovaks were heavily dependent on cheap Russian gas transported via gas pipelines, while their reactors in nuclear power plants were Russian in design and construction. This dependency on Russian energy sources and technology constrained Slovakia’s ability to diversify its energy partnerships and limited the scope of Slovak-American collaboration in the energy sector.

5. The Czech Republic

  • 75 Velvyslanectví USA v České republice, "Ministr energetiky USA Rick Perry klade důraz na energeticko (...)

32Energy cooperation between the United States and the Czech Republic from 2017 to 2021 focused on enhancing energy security and diversifying energy sources.75 Additional important issues were nuclear energy cooperation and the TSI.

  • 76 Velvyslanectví USA v České republice, "Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Czech Foreign Minister Tomas (...)

33It should be pointed out that the president of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, was a pro-Russian and pro-Chinese president. On the other hand, the foreign minister, Tomáš Petříček, was supposedly the most pro-Brussels member of the Andrej Babiš cabinet (December 2017-Decemeber 2021). At the same time, he took a tough stance towards Russia and China. Petříček supported various American initiatives and promoted the Czech Republic as a suitable place for their implementation in Europe.76

  • 77 Żornaczuk et al., "Promotion of the Three Seas Initiative."

34Regarding energy security, Prague's stance on the TSI was ambivalent in the past. Notably, Austria and Czechia were the only TSI member countries that did not send their heads of state or government to the second TSI summit, a move that was particularly striking given that Donald Trump personally attended the Warsaw Summit in 2017 to demonstrate his support for the development of Central European energy infrastructure. This limited engagement was further underscored by Czechia's non-participation in the TSII Fund, reflecting the Babiš government's lack of strategic vision for Czechia's role in the TSI.77

  • 78 Euractive, "Seven EU Countries Oppose Nord Stream," Www.Euractiv.Com, November 30, 2015, https://ww (...)
  • 79 Andrius Sytas, “EU Leaders Sign Letter Objecting to Nord Stream-2 Gas Link,” Reuters, March 16, 201 (...)
  • 80 Jakub Groszkowski, "Czech Support for Nord Stream 2," OSW Analyses, November 2017, https://www.osw. (...)
  • 81 Mišík, External Energy Security in the European Union, 109-110.
  • 82 Ryan Jacobsen, “US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2,” Institute for Politics and Society, 2021, 3, https: (...)

35Prague’s position regarding the NS2 was ambivalent as well. Czech authorities sent ambiguous signals regarding the approach to the construction of NS2. In 2015, the Bohuslav Sobotka center-left government refused to sign a letter against NS2 from seven EU energy ministers to the vice president of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.78 However, less than a year later, the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, signed another letter, this time authored by eight countries and addressed to the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The letter expressed concerns about the construction of the NS2 as a project that could pose certain risks to energy security in the Central and Eastern European region.79 On the one hand, Prague tried to avoid a dispute with Germany because the close connection of the Czech and German energy infrastructure contributes significantly to ensuring a high level of security of gas supplies to the Czech Republic. During an official visit to Russia on November 24, 2017, Czech President Miloš Zeman informed the Czech media that he supported construction of the NS2 gas pipeline. He added that he had consulted with the Minister of Industry and Trade, a presidential delegation member, regarding this position. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referencing the president’s statement, asserted that the government’s stance is that the NS2 project must be implemented in accordance with European law.80 In reality, the Andrej Babiš government did not actively oppose the project. The Czech energy industry regarded the NS2 as an opportunity to increase the volume of gas transported through the country, positioning Czechia as a gas transport hub. Significantly, Czech Republic benefited from the construction of the first Nord Stream pipeline through its connection to the gas network via the Opal and Gazelle pipelines.81 The Nord Stream 2 was projected to have a net positive financial impact on the Czech Republic by initially doubling the volume of gas flowing through the country, which would lead to lower gas prices and higher revenue from transportation fees.82

  • 83 Łukasz Ogrodnik, "Intensification of Czech-U.S. Relations," Bulletin PISM, no. 94 (1340), July 11, (...)

36Andrej Babiš’s government, which came to power in December 2017, was not interested in buying gas from the US. However, after the meeting with Trump, Babiš drew attention to the potential gas terminal in Świnoujście in the context of imports of American liquefied gas to Central Europe, indicating the possibility of purchasing larger quantities of American LNG.83

  • 84 Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, (...)
  • 85 World Nuclear News, "ČEZ Begins 'Security Assessment' of Dukovany Bidders," June 22, 2021, https:// (...)

37The Czech government prioritized nuclear power. The country’s “National Action Plan for the Development Nuclear Energy Sector in the Czech Republic” (June 2015) stated that atomic energy should constitute about 50 percent of the Czech energy mix by 2040.84 From 2017 to 2021, the Czech Republic operated two nuclear power plants: one in Dukovany and another in Temelín. České Energetické Závody Group (CEZ), the state-controlled operator of the current reactors, launched a tender for new reactors in 2009 but canceled it in 2014. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) later invited nine companies/consortia to discuss their interest in participating in procurement for the nuclear power plant at Dukovany. In the fall of 2016, six companies/consortia responded to a Request for Information (RFI) issued by MOIT. The companies/consortia were Westinghouse, Rosatom (Russia), KHNP (Korea), EDF (France), CGN (China), and Atmea (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries/EDF). MOIT met with each company to discuss their submissions in late January and early February 2017. In 2021, the Czech Government excluded Rosatom (Russia) and CGN (China) from the tender for security reasons and announced its intention to provide financial guarantees for the construction. Three companies, Westinghouse, EdF, and KHNP, were invited to complete a security questionnaire before the formal tendering process in 2021.85 The lack of Chinese and Russian offers aligned with the Trump administration’s expectations in this matter.

  • 86 CEEnergy News, "Westinghouse and Framatome Win Tender to Supply Nuclear Fuel for the Temelín NPP," (...)
  • 87 CEEnergy News, "GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and ČEZ Sign an Agreement for Small Modular Reactors," Ma (...)

38In keeping with the Czech government’s aims to diversify energy sources, CEZ has procured nuclear fuel from TVEL for the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant since 2010. CEZ initiated a tender in April 2020 for the plant’s fuel supply, which saw bids from Framatome (France), TVEL (Russia), and Westinghouse (United States). After the conclusion of President Trump’s term, the contract was ultimately awarded to the French and American companies.86 The United States and Czechia collaborated on the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Czech utility company ČEZ signing a memorandum of understanding to explore the feasibility of constructing an SMR in the Czech Republic.87

  • 88 International Energy Agency, "Energy Policy of IEA Countries. Czech Republic 2021 Review," 2021, 15 (...)

39The Czech government prioritized nuclear power. Security concerns led to the exclusion of Russian and Chinese companies from the tender for new reactors, aligning with US expectations. Simultaneously, Czechia showed limited interest in collaborating on American LNG projects. It should be noted that in 2019, natural gas in the Czech Republic accounted only for 17% of the total energy supply (TES), 7% of electricity generation, and 20% of total final consumption (TFC).88 Furthermore, Babiš believed that American gas was too expensive, making it more economical for the Czechs to purchase Russian gas.

5. Poland

  • 89 Amélie Zima, "Polish–US Relations in the Trump Era: From Worries to Honeymoon?" in Alliances and Po (...)

40Poland has often been labeled the most Atlanticist country in Central Europe. Following the election of the nationalist and conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government in Poland in 2015 and of Donald Trump in the United States in 2016, the Polish agenda was again marked by a stronger Atlanticism.89 Poland has long been viewed by many in the US as an essential country with which to develop ties. Given its size, demographics, and geostrategic location, American policymakers have considered Poland a robust regional power in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • 90 President of the Republic of Poland, "Safeguarding Freedom, Building Prosperity through Poland-US S (...)
  • 91 "Joint Declaration between the United States Department of Energy and the Ministry of Energy of the (...)
  • 92 Gaz System, "Signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Dialogue on Energy," November 13, 2 (...)
  • 93 Nuclear News, "U.S. and Polish Officials Continue Strategic Talks," March 11, 2020, https://www.ans (...)

41On 18 September 2018 in Washington, D.C., presidents Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump signed a joint declaration on the Polish-American strategic partnership entitled “Safeguarding Freedom, Building Prosperity through the Poland-US Strategic Partnership”.90 The second of the three parts of the declaration was devoted to energy. Poland and the United States declared a commitment to deepening cooperation in energy security, including diversifying energy sources, stating that private initiatives should play the leading role. The declaration paved the way for signing of “the Joint Declaration Concerning Enhanced Cooperation on Energy Security” on November 8, 2018, in Warsaw, by Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski and US Energy Secretary Perry.91 Tchórzewski and Perry declared the development of a cooperation aimed at increasing diversification and ensuring the stability of supplies of energy sources. This was to increase the energy security of Poland and CEE, especially in the face of pressure from Russian state-owned energy companies. The parties in question agreed to promote cooperation in (i) civil nuclear energy, (ii) cybersecurity, (iii) natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply, (iv) clean coal technologies, (v) energy efficiency and smart grids, (vi) grid resilience and synchronization, and (vii) fuel storage and transmission logistics. A day later, the “Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Republic of Poland on a U.S. - Poland Strategic Dialogue on Energy” was signed on November 9, 2018, in Warsaw by Minister Piotr Naimski and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.92 According to the signed document, expert meetings were scheduled to occur in Poland and the United States. The Polish-American Strategic Energy Dialogue’s first meeting was held in Houston on March 12, 2019. The third and most recent strategic energy dialogue took place on February 26, 2020, in Washington, D.C., and focused on cooperation in nuclear energy, natural gas, cybersecurity, and clean coal technologies.93

  • 94 Wojciech Jakóbik, "Nord Stream 2 w Polityce Zagranicznej Rządu RP w Latach 2015-2018," Sprawy Międz (...)
  • 95 TVP World, "Poland Lobbying for US Sanctions against Nord Stream 2: Reports," August 24, 2018, http (...)

42Donald Trump, the Polish government, and the president criticized the Russian-German NS2 project and the energy geopolitics surrounding it. Poland, on the other hand, has criticized the project as a geopolitical tool designed to make Europe more vulnerable to Russian interests. Through this project, the Polish government has argued, Moscow has gained considerable political and economic leverage in its engagement with Germany and others dependent on Russian gas, thereby exposing them to supply cut-offs and price manipulation techniques by Russia.94 Poland welcomed the decision of the United States to impose sanctions on the NS2 gas pipeline. It was suggested in the Polish press that Poland may wish to persuade the Trump administration to take decisive steps against the pipeline project, especially after Donald Trump himself had repeatedly criticized the initiative, calling it a “tragedy” and slamming Germany for “feeding billions and billions of dollars […] into the coffers of Russia when we are trying to do something so that we have peace in the world”.95 As Trivun Sharma notes, the criticism of Nord-Stream Two was, for both Trump and PiS, related to an explicit criticism of Germany’s policy. According to the researcher:

  • 96 Trivun Sharma, "The Geopolitics of US-Poland Relations Under President Trump," Geopolitics Quarterl (...)

While the US (under Trump) and Poland had a strained relationship with Germany for different reasons, they had one common factor: to undermine Germany’s role as a critical power in the bloc.96

  • 97 Atlantic Council, "US Commits $1 Billion Dollars to Develop Central European Infrastructure," Atlan (...)

43The Polish and American positions also coincided with the TSI. The Poles and Croats initiated cooperation in 2015 to increase connectivity in the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Sea regions. During the Munich Security Conference in February 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the US would contribute $1 billion to the TSII Fund.97 The United States supported the implementation of several energy projects contributing to the increase in energy security of the TSI countries, including the construction of the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland, the expansion of the LNG terminal in Świnoujście, the construction of the LNG terminal in Gdańsk, and the construction of the interconnector between Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria.

  • 98 Piotr Buras, "Trump in Warsaw: What Is at Stake for Poland and Europe?" European Council on Foreign (...)
  • 99 Central Europe Energy Partners, "First LNG Delivery from U.S. Supplier to Poland," April 28, 2017, (...)
  • 100 Olga Stevanovic, "The Trump Administration’s Approach to Energy Security in Poland and the Baltic S (...)
  • 101 Chojan, "The United States on the Three Seas Initiative," 79-91.

44As argued by Piotr Buras, Poland’s ambition through this project was to “not only strive for full gas independence from Russia but […] to become an energy hub in Central and Eastern Europe itself, providing for real gas diversification in the region.”98 As the then-president of Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe and Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Piotr Wozniak stated, A future delivery from the USA proves that Poland can become a gateway to Central and Eastern Europe for American LNG.99 For Trump, the TSI created an opportunity to increase the export of American gas to Europe, and the Polish LNG terminal in Świnoujście made it possible to a large extent. American support for the Initiative complied with expanding US LNG exports to Central and Eastern Europe. However, as Olga Stevanović notes, some researchers explain America's interest in the Initiative not so much in economic issues as a manifestation of its geo-economic and geopolitical interests in Central and Eastern Europe, the stance that this region continues to be strategically important as “the area of overlapping influences of Russia and the USA in several domains”.100 For the Trump administration, CEE was also one of the areas of strategic competition with China. Donald Trump was tightening the United States’ cooperation with the TSI countries to inhibit the development of Chinese influence in the region.101

  • 102 Donald J. Trump, "Remarks in Warsaw, Poland," The American Presidency Project, July 6, 2017, https: (...)
  • 103 PGNiG, "24-Letni Kontrakt z Cheniere Podpisany – Dostawy Amerykańskiego LNG Do Polski Ruszą w 2019 (...)
  • 104 Piotr Wilczek, "Poland-U.S. Cooperation In The Years 2016-2020. Facts And Figures," The Warsaw Inst (...)

45During his first visit to Poland, Trump also expressed American commitment to “securing your access to alternate sources of energy so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single energy supplier.”102 It should be noted that the United States has started sending LNG shipments to Poland. Short, medium, and long-term gas contracts between companies from the USA and Poland have been concluded. In November 2017, the first medium-term contract (5 years) for the import of American LNG was signed between PGNiG and the British company Centrica LNG Company Limited (Centrica). According to the agreement, the gas supplies came from the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal in the US in Louisiana. The contract entered into force in 2018. In June 2018, PGNiG signed a 20-year contract with Port Arthur LNG, LLC (a subsidiary of Sempra Energy) with a year supply beginning in 2023. In November 2018, PGNiG signed a 24-year contract with Cheniere to supply American LNG to Poland starting in 2019 to the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal in Swinoujscie.103 Poland’s PGNiG has also signed another 20-year contract with US-based firm Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC to purchase liquefied natural gas with deliveries starting in 2023 and the subsequent 20-year contract with Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC, with deliveries beginning in 2023.104 Contracts with American companies to purchase natural gas from the US are to fill the gap that will appear in 2022 due to the expiration of the Yamal contract to import Russian gas. Since then, Poland has become one of Europe’s top importers of American LNG. President of PGNiG, Piotr Wozniak, stated:

  • 105 PST, "First Cargo of US LNG under Long-Term Agreement between PGNiG and Cheniere Arrives in Poland, (...)

Our portfolio of contracts with US suppliers covers over 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas after regasification annually, which is more than we import from Russia. Such a volume strengthens Poland’s energy security and allows us to actively participate in LNG trading on the global market.105

  • 106 U.S. Department of Energy, "Readout of Secretary Perry’s Poland Visit," Energy.gov, September 6, 20 (...)

46In addition, the supply of American LNG to Ukraine in cooperation with Poland is worth mentioning. On August 1, 2019, Rick Perry, Piotr Naimski, and the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Danyliuk, signed an agreement in Warsaw to cooperate in strengthening the security of the supply of natural gas in the region.106 The first supply of American LNG to Ukraine, almost 100 million cubic meters (after regasification), arrived in Świnoujście in November 2019.

  • 107 Government of the Republic of Poland and Government of the United States of America, "Memorandum of (...)
  • 108 "Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Poland (...)
  • 109 World Nuclear Association, "Nuclear Power in Poland," 2022, https://world-nuclear.org/information-l (...)

47Nuclear energy was also an important area of cooperation between Poland and the United States. Poland wanted to build six reactors with 6-9 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear energy capacity. In this area, in 2019, “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Poland Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation” was signed in Washington, D.C.107 In October 2020, the Nuclear Energy Agreement was signed, and went into effect on February 24, 2021.108 This 30-year agreement, the first of its kind, represented an enduring energy bond between the United States and Poland. In June 2021, the U.S. Trade & Development Agency provided a grant to Polish Nuclear Power Plants (PEJ) to support Westinghouse and Bechtel in conducting front-end engineering and design studies for the construction of an AP1000 reactor, intended to be Poland's first nuclear power plant.109 The US-Poland cooperation consists in supporting relevant business entities and government-led activities. Beyond that, the agreement defines areas of cooperation as steps ranging from regulatory, research, and training, through developing supply chains, to raising public awareness. The deal represented a milestone for the Polish authorities, who have been striving to commence the construction of a nuclear power plant for over twenty years.

  • 110 Jakub Łyjak, "U.S.-Poland Nuclear Cooperation," Warsaw Institute (blog), October 18, 2021, https:// (...)

48In early September 2021, the US Department of Energy and the Ministry of Climate and Environment of the Republic of Poland organized the third edition of the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation Business Forum. The US-Poland energy cooperation is reflected in some activities of both state-run and private companies. A few American nuclear businesses were in talks with some Polish companies. In early 2019, Polish chemical giant Synthos opened talks with GE Hitachi, a joint venture between the US conglomerate General Electrics and Japanese tech company Hitachi, on constructing a BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR). In addition, Poland’s state-controlled fuel and energy giant PKN Orlen has signed a cooperation agreement with Synthos on small nuclear projects. Similarly, KGHM, the Polish copper giant, has inked a joint commitment with NuScale Power, an American leader among producers of small modular reactors technology, and with PBE Molecule to develop SMR technology.110

49Poland was the country that cooperated with the United States to the greatest extent during the period from 2017 to 2021. Furthermore, it collaborated in areas that were of significant importance to the Trump administration: the purchase of American LNG gas and nuclear power plant technology. This stemmed from the fact that Poland had access to the Baltic Sea and initiated the construction of an LNG terminal. Additionally, considering its goals of reducing CO2 emissions and reducing dependence on coal, Poland has relied on a stable source of energy in the form of a nuclear power plant.

6. Conclusion

  • 111 European Commission, "Joint U.S.-EU Statement," 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/d (...)

50After becoming the energy export country following the shale gas revolution, the Trump administration promoted the ‘need’ for a new energy policy to increase American international competitiveness. Europe was one of the central subject regions for exporting American LNG gas. It can be noted, for example, that 35% of US LNG exports went to the EU between January and April 2019.111 The purchasing potential of Central European countries for gas is relatively modest compared to that of Germany, Italy, or France. Furthermore, only three Central European nations, namely Poland, Croatia, and Lithuania, possess a single liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal each, enabling them to receive LNG. However, it should be noted that the countries of Central Europe demonstrated a positive attitude towards the Trump administration’s energy policy and his involvement in the TSI project. Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary were engaged in the TSI, which offered the opportunity to expand infrastructure connecting Central European nations. Particularly noteworthy is Donald Trump’s promise of substantial financial support for the TSI Fund, with the US committing $1 billion. However, not all countries were interested in financially strengthening the fund and were not willing to contribute financially to the common fund supporting investments.

51Central European countries, being small and medium-sized states, primarily felt recognized by the Trump administration. All prime ministers received invitations to visit the White House, and Donald Trump himself attended a summit of the TSI. Additionally, the Secretary of Energy, under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019, Rick Perry, conducted visits across the region.

52The progress in energy cooperation between the United States and Central European countries varied. It appears that the primary differentiating factor was the individual relationships of each country and their attitudes towards Russia, particularly their willingness to depend on Russian fuels. The divergent reactions were evident in their responses to American involvement in energy, including collaborations on nuclear power and the TSI, as well as their differing perspectives on the Russian-German project NS2.

53In the Hungarian case, its government did not seem proactive in tying itself to the US in a general energy partnership despite various energy collaborations aimed at the diversification proposed by the United States. Regarding Slovakia and the Czech Republic’s energy ties with the US, partnerships in several sectors developed. Both Prague and Bratislava were not in as close of a relationship with Russia as Budapest and actively proceeded with the atomic energy alliance with the US. They were also interested in access to US gas from the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, Poland.

54The energy partnership between Poland and the US was more successful than with other Central European nations, as Poland has often been called the most Atlanticist country in CEE countries. Warsaw and Washington are critical of Russia and Germany, particularly regarding the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline projects. Poland strongly supported the US government’s decision to sanction companies participating in NS2. Poland was also enthusiastic about LNG gas importation through Swinoujscie. The United States also declared a potential $1 billion contribution to the Three Seas Fund. There was a unity of interests between the two countries; Poland wanted total gas independence from Russia and was eager to become an energy hub in Central and Eastern Europe, providing gas diversification for the region. Nuclear energy cooperation was also an essential field.

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Notes

1 Lisa Friedman, "Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Doctrine Is Undermined by Climate Change," The New York Times, November 29, 2018, sec. Climate, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/climate/trump-energy-dominance.html; Leo Kabouche, "Assessing the Trump Doctrine of ‘Energy Dominance,’" Global Risk Insights, April 13, 2018, https://globalriskinsights.com/2018/04/trump-doctrine-energy-dominance/; Vasileios Balafas and Efstathios T. Fakiolas, "From Energy Security to Energy Dominance: US’ Blending of Politics and Economics," Strategic Analysis 44, no. 2 (2020): 91-105.

2 Edward J. Salazar, "US ‘Core’ Interests in Europe and Central Europe at Risk?" Államtudományi Mûhelytanulmányok, no. 10 (2018): 2-3.

3 Klaus Larres, "Angela Merkel and Donald Trump—Values, Interests, and the Future of the West," in German-American Relations in the 21st Century, (Routledge, 2020), 47-67; Jeff Lightfoot, The French-American Alliance in an America-First Era (Atlantic Council, 2018), https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/French-American_WEB.pdf; Kristian L. Nielsen and Anna Dimitrova, "Trump, Trust and the Transatlantic Relationship," Policy Studies 42, nos. 5-6 (2021): 699-719.

4 European Steel Association (EUROFER), "European Steel in Figures 2021" (2021): 15, https://www.eurofer.eu/publications/brochures-booklets-and-factsheets/european-steel-in-figures-2021/.

5 Andrew Richter, "NATO in the Age of Trump: Alliance Defense Spending during the Trump Presidency," Comparative Strategy 40, no. 3 (2021): 285-304.

6 Larres, "Angela Merkel and Donald Trump," 47-67.

7 Caroline Fehl and Johannes Thimm, "Dispensing With the Indispensable Nation?: Multilateralism Minus One in the Trump Era," Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations 25, no. 1 (2019): 24.

8 Adrian Chojan, "The United States on the Three Seas Initiative," Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej 17, no. 3 (2019): 79-91.

9 Karolina Gawron-Tabor, "Challenges and Threats to the Security of the Visegrad Group Countries: Intensification of Relations with the United States as a Means to Overcome Risks?" Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej 18, no. 1 (2020): 99-115.

10 U.S. Department of Energy, "Readout of Secretary Perry’s Visit to Warsaw, Poland," Energy.Gov, November 8, 2018, https://www.energy.gov/articles/readout-secretary-perrys-visit-warsaw-poland.

11 Peter Z. Grossman, U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 2.

12 Robert A. Manning, "The Shale Revolution and the New Geopolitics of Energy," Atlantic Council, October 31, 2014, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/the-shale-revolution-and-the-new-geopolitics-of-energy/.

13 White House, "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America," 2017a, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905.pdf.

14 Laurance R. Geri and David E. McNabb, Energy Policy in the U.S.: Politics, Challenges, and Prospects for Change (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2017), 63-82.

15 Amro Zakaria, "U.S. Energy Dominance: From Whale Oil to Shale; How the New U.S. Energy Doctrine Will Change the World," IAEE Energy Forum 98 (2019): 17-19.

16 White House, "President Trump Vows to Usher in Golden Era of American Energy Dominance," 2017b, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/articles/president-trump-vows-usher-golden-era-american-energy-dominance/.

17 Asma Sana Bilal and Nabiya Imran, "Emerging Contours of Transatlantic Relationship under Trump Administration," Policy Perspectives 16, no. 1 (2019): 3-21.

18 Farid Guliyev, "Trump’s 'America First' Energy Policy, Contingency and the Reconfiguration of the Global Energy Order," Energy Policy 140 (2020): 1-10.

19 Jen Schneider and Jennifer Peeples, "Energy Dominance," in Routledge Handbook of Energy Democracy, ed. Andrea M. Feldpausch-Parker, Danielle Endres, Tarla Rai Peterson, and Stephanie L. Gomez (New York: Routledge, 2022): 137.

20 Friedman, "Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Doctrine."

21 Carole Nakhle, "Shale Gas Brings Revolution to the World Gas Markets," GIS Reports, May 16, 2022, https://www.gisreportsonline.com/r/shale-gas/.

22 Ibid.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 U.S. Department of Energy, "Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage. A Strategy to Assure U.S National Security," 2020, https://www.energy.gov/articles/restoring-americas-competitive-nuclear-energy-advantage.

27 Sonal Patel, "Nuclear Fuel Working Group Outlines How U.S. Could Regain Global Leadership," POWER Magazine, April 24, 2020, https://www.powermag.com/nuclear-fuel-working-group-outlines-how-u-s-could-regain-global-leadership/.

28 U.S. Congress, "Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017," https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ248/PLAW-115publ248.pdf.

29 U.S. Congress, "Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act," legislation, January 14, 2019, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/512/text.

30 U.S. Department of Energy, "Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage."

31 Ibid.

32 European Commission, "Joint U.S.-EU Statement Following President Juncker’s Visit to the White House," 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_18_4687.

33 Nakhle, Shale Gas brings revolution to the World Gas Markets.

34 Vladimir Kutcherov et al., "Russian Natural Gas Exports: An Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities," Energy Strategy Reviews 30 (2020): 100511, 6.

35 Michał Kędzierski, "At All Costs. Germany Shifts to LNG," OSW Commentary, April 28, 2023, https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/osw-commentary/2023-04-28/at-all-costs-germany-shifts-to-lng.

36 Moniek de Jong, "Too Little, Too Late? US Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and the Transatlantic Relationship," Journal of Transatlantic Studies 20 (2022): 213-29.

37 White House, “Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Orbán of Hungary Before Bilateral Meeting,” 2019b, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-prime-minister-orban-hungary-bilateral-meeting/.

38 Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 3.

39 Bálint Madlovics and Bálint Magyar, "Hungary’s Dubious Loyalty: Orbán’s Regime Strategy in the Russia-Ukraine War," in Russia's Imperial Endeavor and Its Geopolitical Consequences: The Russia-Ukraine War, Volume Two, (Central European University Press, 2023), 261.

40 Benedek Pál, Áron Szászi, and Gergely Varga, "The Place of Central Europe on Donald Trump’s Map: Convergence and Divergence on Economy-Related Issues," KKI Policy Brief no. E-2020/02 (Budapest: Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2020), 5-7, https://hiia.hu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/E-2020-02_C-EUR-Trump_1.pdf.

41 International Energy Agency, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Hungary 2022 Review (2022), 123, https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/9f137e48-13e4-4aab-b13a-dcc90adf7e38/Hungary2022.pdf.

42 Ibid., 122.

43 Ibid., 131.

44 Ibid., 14.

45 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto," United States Department of State (blog), February 11, 2019, https://2017-2021.state.gov/press-availability-with-hungarian-foreign-minister-peter-szijjarto/.

46 Pál, Szászi, and Varga, "The Place of Central Europe," 6-7.

47 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, "Hungary and the United States Have Confirmed Their Strategic Alliance," May 31, 2018, 11:00 AM, https://2015-2019.kormany.hu/en/ministry-of-foreign-affairs-and-trade/news/hungary-and-the-united-states-have-confirmed-their-strategic-alliance.

48 Evelin Szőke, "Hungary Signs Historic Long-Term Gas Supply Agreement with Shell," September 5, 2020, https://ceenergynews.com/oil-gas/hungary-signs-historic-long-term-gas-supply-agreement-with-shell/.

49 Pál, Szászi, and Varga, "Convergence and Divergence on Economy-Related Issues (2)," 6-7.

50 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto."

51 Marton Dunai, "Hungary Joins Gazprom Pipeline, as Trump Touts U.S. LNG," Reuters, July 5, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN19Q1YD.

52 Benjamin Novak and Andrew Higgins, "Facing Tough Election, Orban Turns to Putin for Support," The New York Times, February 5, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/05/world/viktor-orban-putin-energy.html.

53 Maciej Zaniewicz and Veronika Jóźwiak, "Prospects for the Diversification of Natural Gas and Oil Supply Sources to Hungary," Bulletin PISM 74, no. 1991 (April 2022), https://www.pism.pl/publications/prospects-for-the-diversification-of-natural-gas-and-oil-supply-sources-to-hungary.

54 Martin Jirušek, "The Attitude of the Visegrad Group Countries towards Russian Infrastructural Projects in the Gas Sector," Energy Policy 139 (April 2020): 111340,

55 U.S. Department of State, "Press Availability With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto."

56 Three Seas Initiative, "Hungary Also to Join Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund," September 27, 2022, https://3seas.eu/media/news/hungary-also-to-join-three-seas-initiative-investment-fund.

57 Tomasz Żornaczuk, Kinga Dudzińska, Veronika Jóźwiak, Łukasz Ogrodnik, and Jakub Pieńkowski, "Promotion of the Three Seas Initiative in the Member States and Among Observer States," PISM Strategic Files 12, no. 104 (December 2021), https://pism.pl/webroot/upload/files/Strategic%20File/PISM%20Strategic%20File%20no%2012%20(104)(1).pdf.

58 "Atomic Energy. Nuclear Safety. Arrangement Between the United States of America and Hungary," signed at Vienna, March 31, 2017, https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/17-331-Hungary-Atomic-Energy-Nuclear-Safety.pdf.

59 Pami Aalto, Heino Nyyssönen, Matti Kojo, and Pallavi Pal, "Russian Nuclear Energy Diplomacy in Finland and Hungary," Eurasian Geography and Economics 58, no. 4 (2017): 400-405.

60 Krisztina Than, "Special Report - Inside Hungary's 10 Billion Euro Nuclear Deal with Russia," Reuters, March 30, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0MQ0MM.

61 David M. Herszenhorn, Sara Stefanini, and Nicholas Hirst, "Questions Grow over Hungarian No-Bid Nuclear Deal," Politico (blog), November 18, 2016, https://www.politico.eu/article/questions-grow-over-hungarian-no-bid-nuclear-deal/.

62 Wojciech Ostrowski and Eamonn Butler, Understanding Energy Security in Central and Eastern Europe: Russia, Transition and National Interest (Routledge, 2018), 172.

63 Łukasz Ogrodnik, "Slovakia’s Relations with the United States," Bulletin PISM, no. 164 (1410), November 25, 2019. https://www.pism.pl/publications/Slovakias_Relations_with_the_United_States.

64 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic. Energy System of Slovak Republic," https://www.iea.org/countries/slovak-republic.

65 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic. Natural Gas Supply," https://www.iea.org/countries/slovak-republic/natural-gas.

66 Krzysztof Dębiec, "Slovakia: Strategic Dilemmas after the Russian Invasion of Ukraine," OSW Commentary 445 (May 2022), https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/osw-commentary/2022-05-10/slovakia-strategic-dilemmas-after-russian-invasion-ukraine.

67 Łukasz Lewkowicz and Michał Paszkowski, "Slovakia Resists Construction of the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline," IEŚ Commentaries no. 475 (172/2021), November 30, 2021, https://ies.lublin.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/ies-commentaries-475.pdf.

68 White House. "Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Pellegrini of the Slovak Republic Before Bilateral Meeting." 2019a. https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-prime-minister-pellegrini-slovak-republic-bilateral-meeting/.

69 Lydia Woellwarth, "Construction Begins on Poland-Slovakia Gas Pipeline," World Pipelines, September 21, 2018, https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/21092018/construction-begins-on-poland-slovakia-gas-pipeline/.

70 Szalai, Pavol. 2017. “Slovakia’s Energy Policy in 2016: Struggling for Interconnectors.” In Yearbook of Slovakia’s Foreign Policy 2016, 2017th ed., 51. Research Center of the Slovak Policy Association. https://www.sfpa.sk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Yearbook-of-Slovakias-Foreign-Policy-2016.pdf.

71 Matúš Mišík, External Energy Security in the European Union: Small Member States’ Perspective (Routledge, 2019), 105-106.

72 Łukasz Lewkowicz, “Slovakia Resists Construction of the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline,” IEŚ Commentaries 475 (November 2021), https://ies.lublin.pl/en/comments/slovakia-resists-construction-of-the-nord-stream-2-gas-pipeline/.

73 World Nuclear News, “Westinghouse Signs Bohunice V1 Dismantling Contract,” September 28, 2017, https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Westinghouse-signs-Bohunice-V1-dismantling-contrac.

74 World Nuclear News, "Upgrades for Slovakian and Korean Simulators," World Nuclear News, August 16, 2018, https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Upgrades-for-Slovakian-and-Korean-simulators.

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77 Żornaczuk et al., "Promotion of the Three Seas Initiative."

78 Euractive, "Seven EU Countries Oppose Nord Stream," Www.Euractiv.Com, November 30, 2015, https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/seven-eu-countries-oppose-nord-stream/.

79 Andrius Sytas, “EU Leaders Sign Letter Objecting to Nord Stream-2 Gas Link,” Reuters, March 16, 2016, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-energy-nordstream-idUKKCN0WI1YV.

80 Jakub Groszkowski, "Czech Support for Nord Stream 2," OSW Analyses, November 2017, https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2017-11-29/czech-support-nord-stream-2.

81 Mišík, External Energy Security in the European Union, 109-110.

82 Ryan Jacobsen, “US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2,” Institute for Politics and Society, 2021, 3, https://www.politikaspolecnost.cz/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/US-Sanctions-on-Nord-Stream-2-IPPS.pdf.

83 Łukasz Ogrodnik, "Intensification of Czech-U.S. Relations," Bulletin PISM, no. 94 (1340), July 11, 2019, https://pism.pl/publications/Intensification_of_CzechUS_Relations.

84 Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, National Action Plan for the Development of the Nuclear Energy Sector in the Czech Republic (22 May 2015), 12, https://www.mpo.gov.cz/assets/en/energy/electricity/nuclear-energy/2017/10/National-Action-Plan-for-the-Development-of-the-Nuclear-_2015_.pdf.

85 World Nuclear News, "ČEZ Begins 'Security Assessment' of Dukovany Bidders," June 22, 2021, https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/CEZ-begins-security-assessment-of-Dukovany-bidders.

86 CEEnergy News, "Westinghouse and Framatome Win Tender to Supply Nuclear Fuel for the Temelín NPP," April 13, 2022, https://ceenergynews.com/nuclear/westinghouse-and-framatome-win-tender-to-supply-nuclear-fuel-for-the-temelin-npp/.

87 CEEnergy News, "GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and ČEZ Sign an Agreement for Small Modular Reactors," March 17, 2020, https://ceenergynews.com/nuclear/ge-hitachi-nuclear-energy-and-cez-sign-an-agreement-for-small-modular-reactors/.

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89 Amélie Zima, "Polish–US Relations in the Trump Era: From Worries to Honeymoon?" in Alliances and Power Politics in the Trump Era: America in Retreat?, ed. Maud Quessard, Frédéric Heurtebize, and Frédérick Gagnon, 53. Springer Nature, 2020.

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91 "Joint Declaration between the United States Department of Energy and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Poland Concerning Enhanced Cooperation on Energy Security," 2018, https://www.energy.gov/node/4813524.

92 Gaz System, "Signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Dialogue on Energy," November 13, 2018, http://www.gaz-system.pl:8080/en/for-media/press-releases/archives/signing-a-memorandum-of-understanding-on-strategic-dialogue-on-energy.html.

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99 Central Europe Energy Partners, "First LNG Delivery from U.S. Supplier to Poland," April 28, 2017, https://www.ceep.be/first-lng-delivery-u-s-supplier-poland/.

100 Olga Stevanovic, "The Trump Administration’s Approach to Energy Security in Poland and the Baltic States," Politika nacionalne bezbednosti 18, no. 1 (2020): 33.

101 Chojan, "The United States on the Three Seas Initiative," 79-91.

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106 U.S. Department of Energy, "Readout of Secretary Perry’s Poland Visit," Energy.gov, September 6, 2019, https://www.energy.gov/articles/readout-secretary-perrys-poland-visit.

107 Government of the Republic of Poland and Government of the United States of America, "Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation," signed at Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019.

108 "Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Poland on Cooperation Towards the Development of Civil Nuclear Power Program and the Civil Nuclear Power Sector in the Republic of Poland," 2020, https://www.energy.gov/node/4813559.

109 World Nuclear Association, "Nuclear Power in Poland," 2022, https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-o-s/poland.aspx.

110 Jakub Łyjak, "U.S.-Poland Nuclear Cooperation," Warsaw Institute (blog), October 18, 2021, https://warsawinstitute.org/u-s-poland-nuclear-cooperation/.

111 European Commission, "Joint U.S.-EU Statement," 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_18_4687.

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References

Electronic reference

Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Tadahiro Yamada, The Implementation of Trump’s Energy Dominance Policy in Central European CountriesEuropean journal of American studies [Online], 19-2 | 2024, Online since 07 June 2024, connection on 25 July 2024. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/ejas/22318

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About the authors

Karolina Gawron-Tabor

Karolina Gawron-Tabor earned her PhD in Political Science from Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU) in Toruń, Poland, with a specialization in regional cooperation in Central Europe. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Security Studies, within the Institute of Security Sciences at NCU. She has held visiting scholar positions at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale University. Recently, she led the “Interdisciplinary Group for Minilateralism in Central and Eastern Europe (IGM CEE)” from 2021 to 2023 and served as a member of the “Centre for Global & Multi-level Governance” at NCU.

Tadahiro Yamada

Tadahiro Yamada, MA is a doctoral student in political and administrative sciences at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, studying under Professor Renata Duda.  He completed his Master of Arts in International Politics and Diplomacy at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń in 2023. His doctoral project, titled “Historical Midwestern Identity that Led to Interwar US Isolationism,” focuses on the regional isolationist stronghold, the Midwest, during the interwar period, even nowadays.  

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