The Caucasus and the importance of petroleum in the Caspian Sea

The Caucasus, situated at the junction of the Asian and European continents, is the scene of a bitter rivalry, namely among the USA, Russia, Turkey and Iran, which is intended to fill the relative geopolitical void left after the Soviet Union’s collapse. The hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian sea increase the strategic significance of this region, inducing competition, wars, and disputes concerning the sovereignty, sharing, exploitation and transit of these materials. However, the Caucasus is characterized less and less by its instability; the dynamic of ethnic wars has weakened and there is a propensity to cooperate and to establish a multi-polar balance, made necessary by the imperatives concerning the opening up of this region. – Summary AFRI-2001