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By: E Karagiannis
233 pages, no illustrations
The transportation of Azerbaijan's energy resources to international markets is one of the most controversial issues in the post-Cold War era. These energy resources and, in particular, the oil deposits have now become a source of discord in the Caucasus region, especially regarding the issue of control over existing and potential pipeline routes. Pipelines have become a determinant of economic prosperity, national security and international power for those who control their routes, and the converse for those who do not. Long-standing ethnic conflicts in Abkhazia, Negorno-Karabakh, Chechnya and Kurdistan have been further fuelled by the ongoing competition over pipeline routes. Conflict connected to pipeline interests in the Caucasus has destabilized already strained political relations amongst existing and potential transit states, but in some cases, it has promoted inter-state co-operation, despite the existence of bilateral problems. Fierce competition over pipeline routes has encouraged co-operation between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, while worsening Russia's relations with these three countries. Any understanding of the complex politics of the post-Soviet Caucasus presupposes an understanding of the relationship between the transportation of Azerbaijan's oil, inter-state relations and ethnic conflicts. Energy and Security in the Caucasus is an ambitious new contribution to the debate revolving around the geo-politics of the Caucasus.
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