Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region by R. Hrair Dekmejian

By R. Hrair Dekmejian

Stricken Waters provides a accomplished research of the political and financial dynamics of the Caspian basin. It examines the various matters and gamers in what has develop into a contemporary variation of the “Great Game” of the nineteenth century. Following a old evaluate of the area and its oil industries, the e-book analyzes the family politics and the overseas rules of the 5 states bordering the Caspian – Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. It identifies the entire exterior pursuits fascinated about the Caspian’s political rivalries and regulate over its assets and territory, together with the united states, the ecu powers, numerous nationalist routine, Islamic militants, nationwide enterprises and foreign firms.

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14 Naturally, all states use the issue of legal status as a weapon to maximize their political and economic objectives. Traditionally, Russia and Iran opposed sectoral division of the sea, as their respective areas were believed to contain limited energy reserves, while the other riparian states favoured such delimitation as would have allowed exploitation of their potentially rich resources. The position of all five states, however, has varied over the years while numerous meetings have taken place to resolve the legal status issue, to no avail.

The first difficult task was to define the federation’s identity in view of its multi-ethnic populace, in which the Russian element was politically and demographically dominant. In March 1992, the Federation Treaty was signed by all 89 territorial components of the Russian Federation, with the exception of Tatarstan and Chechnya. These components included 21 autonomous republics, one autonomous region and ten autonomous districts. Other challenges were to rebuild a viable state structure capable of preserving the federation’s unity and to institute a market economy.

What prompted the haphazard and precipitous involvement of the big oil firms and investors was the rumored promise of hidden wealth, rather than a sombre appraisal of the region’s energy resources, costs of exploration and extraction and modalities of export. These considerations of political economy were also absent from the strategic calculations of the industrial countries which actively promoted large-scale participation by their oil companies in the region. Indeed, the power vacuum created by the Soviet collapse provided an inviting milieu for the West’s political and economic intrusion into an uncharted territory.

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