English / ქართული / русский /

Journal number 3 ∘ Khatuna Tabagari
Economic and Energy Importance of Caucasus in Near Future

Expanded Summary

It’s a historical fact that the importance of Caucasus has not been changed for a long time but visa versa: Russia, Turkey, USA, EU and other countries tried and are still trying to dominate, impact or ally with Caucasus region with different reasons and goals.

After destroying the Soviet Union the world payed attention to the Caucasus and Caspian Sea regions because of the location of Caucasus and the richness of hydrocarbon reserves of Caspian Sea region. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are riches with the mentioned commodities. That is why Russia tries to keep control over these countries: oil pipelines connect Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to Russia and as for natural gas pipelines, they connect Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and, also, Kazakhstan to it. This fact means that the abovementioned countries will be dependent to Russia: they will not be able to supply oil or natural gas to European countries without Russian permission.

In Caucasus there is well-developed system of the roads and railways after Ukraine and Moldova in Postcommunist Countries. There also must be mentioned there will be soon finished a new road of Baku-Gazakh-Tbilisi-Samtredia-Batumi-Sarpi and 1st Passenger Coach already Rolls On Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, these facts will develop and help region to increase the number of passengers and cargoes turnover by 2020.

Nowadays, in this Caucasus region there are bypassed several international oil and natural gas pipelines by which Azerbaijanian commodities are distributed towards Georgia, Turkey and Europe. These oil pipelines are: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan – BTC and West Root Export Pipeline – WREP, as for natural gas pipelines, they are South Caucasus Pipeline – SCP and North-South Gas Pipeline – NSGP. Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and European countries deliver Azerbaijanian and Russian hydrocarbon by the very pipelines. There is also supplied oil from Kazakhstan via Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan. EU and USA support supplying of Azerbaijanian commodities to European countries, for instance, EU more or less tries to implement soft policy in Caucasus to provide stable and safe supply of oil and natural gas. The main idea of establishing of European Neighbourhood Policy – ENP is to provide security of the Caucasian countries domestic and foreign policy. It is significant for the states of this region to have positive relationship to each other for ensuring the energy security. From the point of this view Georgia has excellent relationship with Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It has possibility to have access to offshore zones via sea ports of the Black Sea. But there must be taken into account that Armenia has negative relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey because of some reasons. Georgia is the right way to be supplied transitional energy resources in future.

In 2008 there was Russia-Georgia War. Where the main aim of Russia was to interrupt Azerbaijanian oil supply to European countries through Georgia and demonstrate its energy, economic and political influence to the world: Europe would be made to be dependent on Russian energy resources. Contemporary, Russia is a main supplier of natural gas to European countries. Europe tries to get rid of 2006 and 2009 cold winters history and diversify natural gas importer countries. Azerbaijan does not have enough reserves of gas to be a complete competitor of Russia, there is also discussed as an alternative source of hydrocarbon – this is Iran, it will supply gas or even oil through Caucasus regions, namely Georgia. If we take into account statistical calculation of future oil and natural gas consumption, these data will be increased minimum till 2040. There it will be clear that the importance of Caucasus (Georgia) will be kept minimum till the same time. Caucasus will become energy and economic hub in the region.