• Giovanni Pagotto
4. semester, Europæiske Studier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The main goal of this paper is investigating the reasons why Russia keeps opposing the implementation of the EU-favored Trans-Caspian pipeline, that would complete the so-called EU Southern Corridor of natural gas supply.
This natural gas pipeline would connect Turkmenistan, and potentially other major Central Asian producers, with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and finally the EU final consumers.
Given that European domestic natural gas production is expected to steadily decline during next years, EU diversification would not seriously affect Russian revenues.
This latter aspect show that the Russian Federation’s government and its monopolistic exporter Gazprom, hold additional interests in the area.
A multiple approach has been applied to the situation in order to point out the factual and potential reasons that have been leading Russia to maintain this attitude towards Central Asia and towards the EU.
The study has been given the form of a case study, whose purpose is to explain the motivation of the actors in the system to act and the character of their intertwined relationships, concentrating, above all on Russia (which has been also set as the paper’s point of view) and the EU, but taking also into account the action of third parties when, after a preliminary review, they turned out to influence to some extent the relationship between the two main partners, or, above all, they had a role in the main issue.
Both a “market and interdependence” and a “geopolitical realist” approaches were used as main explanatory tools. The study pointed out the presence of a balanced interdependence between the two main actors, that Russia strives to maintain, together with benefits deriving from it, and the EU, instead, tries to alter with a policy of diversification where Central Asia and in general the Great Caspian Sea Region holds a primary position, due to their relevant natural gas resources.
The geopolitical realist approach, on the other hand, confirmed the existence of a Russian “sphere of special interest” that the Kremlin is decided to defend from Western potential political (and possibly military) influence presumably conveyed and supported by multilateral framework for economic cooperation centered on energy, considered the importance the drilling industry and hydrocarbon distribution holds in Central Asian countries’ economy.
Another noteworthy finding of this study is the growing strategic polarization of international relations around the alliance between U.S and EU on one side and Russia with China on the other, although these last two have to clearly define their respective boundaries concerning influence in Central Asia. The present configuration of IR tends to exclude the emergence of conflicts between the two “blocks” however if the trend continues, the management of Great Caspian Sea Region could be the winning factor to achieve the primacy over the strategic opponent.

Udgivelsesdato30 jun. 2002
Antal sider69
ID: 198406379