The Pipeline Politics

The Caspian region, for several reasons, has been receiving the world’s attention especially after the Soviet Union collapsed. From the region’s geostrategic position, there are crucial economic reasons for the external and regional powers to entangle, mainly due to the existence of hydrocarbon reserves. The pipeline politics has two interconnected but different issues. First, different powers are struggling to take control of the energy resources found in the Caspian region. The control of these resources has been complicated due to the uncertain legal status and ambiguities in the Caspian Sea. In the Caspian Sea, there are no internationally recognized boundaries, and hence dividing the sea shelf among littoral states is difficult.

 Secondly, there is an issue to do with export and exploitation of the resources found in the Caspian region. Those countries which have hydrocarbon deposits do not have the financial and technological capabilities which are crucial while starting the exploitation. The countries depend on some western and Russian oil companies. These companies together with their origin use other means to influence the exploitation of the resources. These two situations force the international economics and international politics to come together. The power struggles at Caspian region has been named “New Great Game” as there are many actors involved in the struggle.

To all actors in the region, geopolitical factor is dominant. The power balance in the region is still unsettled. Georgia and Azerbaijan wary of the Russian intentions hence they aligned themselves with the United States and Turkey. There is a plan to construct BTC oil pipeline in the region, and this has increased presence of United States and other influential countries like China and Russia in the region. The US government has a direct influence in the region and on the future political, economical and security initiatives. The central Asia countries have a choice of cooperating with the developed nations as they do not have the financial and technological capabilities to exploit the resources.    

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