In the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region
The Black Sea Region as a Strategic Energy Corridor: International Dynamics of Cooperation and Competition
ABSTRACT: The Black Sea region plays a key role in the transport of fossil energy sources from the Caspian basin to Europe. As a transport hub for oil and natural gas the region stands in the centre of competing national interests due to its geographical position. While the EUis seeking to diversify its energy sources through new gas pipeline routes to the Caspian area, Russiais actively undermining these efforts in order to hold and extend its position as Europe’s chief supplier of natural gas. This article examines the competitive behaviour between the EU and the Russian Federation towards pipeline projects in the Black Sea region. The goal of this study is to analyse the likelihood of upcoming cooperation between the two major protagonists.
KEYWORDS: Black Sea Region, energy corridor, international pipeline, strategy
The Black Sea Region plays a more important role than its geographical dimensions might suggest. It connects Europe to Central Asia, the Caspian and the Middle Eastern states. The wider Black Sea Region includes the littoral states of the Black Sea,1 Moldova and the Southern Caucasus countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.2 Due to its geographical location, the region plays a key role for the international transport of fossil energy sources to Europe from the Caspian area, which holds substantial amounts of the world’s oil and gas reserves (Karbuz, 2010). The Caspian basin comprises...
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