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Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership?

The Deepwater Gunashli oil and natural gas platform operates in the biggest oilfield in the Caspian Sea. As the EU begins searching for alternatives to Russian gas, energy analysts believe the Caspian could have enough to supply Western Europe, if Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan can agree on how to manage hydrocarbon resources in the region. (Photo: BP)

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is creating an opportunity for two feuding Caspian-Sea energy powers, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, to become export partners.

The latest signal that Azerbaijani-Turkmen relations might be heading for a thaw came on April 2, when Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov paid an unexpected visit to Baku. The trip marked the first such mission by a high-ranking government official from either side since 2009.

Bilateral relations between the two states have never been great during the post-Soviet era. The two have haggled over three Caspian oilfields – Azeri/Omar, Chirag/Osman and Kyapaz/Serdar – and the disputes have hindered officials from finalizing a deal that would bring Turkmen gas to Western markets via a 100-kilometer-long Turkmen-Azerbaijani pipeline under the Caspian Sea.

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Shahin Abbasov is a freelance correspondent based in Baku.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership?

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