This thesis examines how Russia and the EU officially look at Central Asia as an energy actor in an energy security political context. Four aspects of the respective parts' energy security discourses are considered; foreign policy, security policy, energy policy and finally energy security, with the aim to examine how Central Asia are framed and presented here. This is done to examine how and why Central Asia is important for Russia and the EU in terms of energy security, and consequently how the parts seek to approach the region. It is argued that not only energy per se is important in the Russian and the EU energy security discourses on Central Asia, and that other factors also needs to be considered when. Among these are cultural aspects and realpolitikal considerations, and also overall political context in which the energy security discourses are situated. This also explains the analytical setup of the thesis.
In line with this, it is argued that Russia and the EU approach Central Asia in very different ways. In the case of Russia, emphasis is placed on Russia's position as a regional great power, as well as the deep cultural bonds that exist between Russia and the Central Asian states. The EU approaches Central Asia with an aim to introduce Western norms in the region, and to assist Central Asia with various technical programs in order to promote development. These framings also spread to the other aspects of the parts’ discourses, which in practical terms mean that Russia seeks regional cooperation with the Central Asian states in order to avoid what Moscow considers as foreign interference, whereas The EU wishes to include Central Asia in an expanded EU structure. In essence, it is argued that both parts want to control Central Asia and the region’s energy resources, but that this is impossible in practical terms. Thus, they both seek to ingratiate themselves with Central Asia, but with different measures and to different means.