Gunel Musayeva, Ph.D (history) Institute of the Caucasus Studies, ANAS, Baku Republic of Azerbaijan
After the signing of the contract of the century in 1994, the itineraries for new routes to transport the energy resources of Azerbaijan, a country without direct access to the ocean, has been the subject of fierce debate against the backdrop of the geopolitical interests of the world’s major powers. While the construction of the Baku-Batumi oil pipeline in the early 20th century was a challenge of a technological nature, this time the main “gamble” was geopolitical. The article therefore considers choosing of alternatives of true transport routes and an impact of the USA thereupon. The BTC project is the first comprehensive project aimed at changing the status quo in the region; the latter being the only alternative route to export oil out of the region, the Russian route to Novorossiysk. Since 1993, Russia, which is still the most notable power in Central Asia and Caucasus, did its utmost to keep the region under its uncontested influence by utilizing every possible political, economic and military instrument within the framework of its popular “Near Abroad” doctrine. For the first time, Russia’s monopoly over oil export routes from the Caspian region has been broken. This article also analyses the course of events that led to the realization of the BTC pipeline where an American policy played an important role.
USA, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, American policy, BP, Caucasus, project
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