This article discusses the place of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and their role in global energy governance in the light of the fragmentation debate roughly twenty years after their establishment. The Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS), the administrative body overseeing the ECT, has taken tension and overlap between the WTO and the ECT into account by providing extensive guidelines on incorporation of WTO rules into the Treaty. This so-called ‘coordination ex ante’ was aimed at functioning as a conflict prevention tool. However, gaps, conflicts and uncertainties remain. Moreover, developments in the past two decades, such as changes in membership to both the ECT and WTO, combined with an attention shift in a rapidly changing trading landscape, invite a re-evaluation of both treaties in view of fragmentation.
Russia stepped back from ECT in2009but acceded to the WTO in 2012 WTO ‘Report of the Working Party on the Accession of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization’ (17 November 2011) WT/ACC/RUS/70 WT/MIN(11)/2 (Russian WTO Accession Protocol).