Pipeline Politics and Caspian Conflict

Pipeline Politics and Caspian Conflict

“It’s possible that after ten years we will have a very big war, because in Central Asia we see a lot of contradictions, there is Europe, [the] United States, China, Russia, Muslim terrorists, so it’s [a] dangerous combination of different interests.”
– Konstantin Simonov, Director of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow

But there’s one interest everyone shares: black gold. Since the Soviet Union flamed out, independent-minded, oil-rich Caspian states have been courting, and courted by, those thirsty for their Texas Tea. The Chinese have Caspian Crude on their menu. Europe and America have a burning desire to kick their Middle East addiction, but petrol-powered Putin has the West over a barrel. The only pipeline that doesn't feed Russia's coffers snakes through Georgia, and recently, Russian bombs came close to cutting that vein.

Guests on this program include:

  • Martha Brill Olcott, Senior Associate with the Russian & Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Zeyno Baran, Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute
  • Elhan Shashinoglu, Director of the Atlas Research Center in Baku
  • Rashan Bayramov, BP spokesperson in Azerbaijan
  • Vusal Qasimli, Deputy Director of Baku’s Economic Research Center
  • Liana Jervalidze, independent energy analyst in Tbilisi
  • S. Frederick Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University
  • Suleyman Demirel, President of Turkey 1993-2000
  • Tedo Japaridze, Georgian Ambassador to the US
  • Mithat Rende, Deputy Director General for Energy Issues at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Richard Morningstar, Special Envoy to the Caspian Region in the Clinton Administration.
  • John Wolf, Special Envoy to the Caspian Region in the Clinton Administration.
  • Konstantin Simonov, Director of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow
  • Richard Hoagland, US Ambassador to Kazakhstan
  • Julia Nanay, Senior Director at PFC Energy
  • Sanjay Srikantiah, economic advisor to the US Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan
  • Jonathan Simpson, Head of European Projects at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
 

 

Segment 1

Ray Suarez takes us to Azerbaijan to see how a major Caspian player balances its ties to Moscow and its partnership with the West.

Segment 2

Deborah Amos takes a look at the history of Caspian region geopolitics since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Segment 3

Ray Suarez looks back at how and why US, Georgian, Turkish and Azeri officials pushed for a pipeline that would transport Caspian oil westwards, bypassing Russia.

Segment 4

Elizabeth Arnold travels to Moscow and Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana to explore the ties that bind the oil-rich former Soviet state to Russia.