Oil and natural gas of the Caspian states seems to be of strategic significance for the West, Richard Morningstar, the US special envoy for Eurasian energy issues said. Why does the US administration show so much interest in the Caspian Sea region? Does it mean that US army bases will soon be deployed there?
The Caspian Sea region will play an important role in the field of energy security for decades, Mr. Morningstar said. The official added that the region was a strategically important source of energy resources for the whole world. The Caspian Sea, Morningstar said, would supply the world’s need in fuel for a very long time. Increasing the output of hydrocarbons in the region was possible owing to convenient export routes, he added.
“The gas resources of Azerbaijan exceed two trillion cubic meters, the oil reserves of Kazakhstan are estimated at 40 billion barrels. Turkmenistan has large gas reserves – over thee trillion cubic meters,” Morningstar said in Baku , the capital of Azerbaijan, on June 2.
The official approved Turkmenistan’s intention to become more open to foreign investors. He urged the nation to be more flexible in developing ground-based deposits. Mr. Morningstar stressed out that his country approved Azerbaijan’s and Turkmenistan’s cooperation with the United States in terms of developing the energy resources of the Caspian Sea region.
“The United States and the European Union are concerned about the access to energy,” Morningstar said. He added that last-year’s events in Georgia and the gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine made Europe more vulnerable in terms of the energy security.
Mr. Morningstar’s remarks virtually mean that the US administration views the Caspian Sea region as the zone of strategic interests of the West.
Why does the USA pay so much attention to such a remote territory as the Caspian Sea region?
Alexander Rar, a German scientist of politics, said that both the USA in particular and the West on the whole pinned great hopes on the region of the Caspian Sea. There are many other oil and gas deposits in the word, but the Caspian Sea has not been explored thoroughly yet. Furthermore, the extraction of oil and gas resources in the region is not cost-intensive at all.
The West does not want to leave the region under the control of Russia only. The USA has made a number of attempts to approach the region, but was forced to retreat. It is not easy to find a compromise with Asian countries.
Anatoly Tsyganok, an expert with the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, believes that one should have a different approach to the USA’s interest in the Caspian Sea region.
“One should approach the issue from the point of view of geopolitics. If US top officials openly say that the Americans are interested in the region, one should realize that their economic objectives go hand-in-hand with military actions, which they organize to solidify their presence in the region. The fact that the USA has already agreed to use a radar station in Azerbaijan is quite indicative. The USA may not use it against Russia , but the message is obvious. The US presence in the Caucasus is highly undesirable for Russia – one should recall the recent events in Georgia ,” the expert told Pravda.Ru.