Turkmenistan: Chinese Deal Helps Stall Trans-Caspian Pipeline, Deter Caspian Conflict
As Turkmenistan continues to pursue its own pipeline projects -- primarily with Beijing, but also promoting the Turkmen-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and indicating some support for the Trans-Caspian Pipeline -- Russia has become increasingly belligerent. Maybe this is just to gain a bargaining position, as there are indications that Turkmenistan's new gas deal with China will help delay the Trans-Caspian Pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, designed to circumvent Russia.
But could the Kremlin really start a war over the monopolist Gazprom losing one third of its business due to the TCP, if Turkmenistan really has enough gas -- and foreign investments -- to supply all comers?
The Bug Pit has asked the question of whether Russia would start a war, quoting various Russian analysts including Mikhail Aleksandrov of the Institute of CIS Countries: "Remembering what NATO did in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Russia has no barriers, moral or legal ones, for the use of force in the Caspian Sea."
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