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UZBEKISTAN - The Trans-Caspian 'Corridor'.

The US government has provided $750,000 towards a study of crude oil and gas pipelines to be built under the Caspian Sea to link Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. From Baku, the pipelines would run overland to Turkey. The crude oil pipeline would end at Turkey's east Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan. The gas pipeline would run overland from Turkey on to the European markets.

Washington has made it clear that the trans-Caspian system of pipelines, or what US officials call "corridor", should be adopted by all the countries concerned.

The "corridor" idea was first discussed in June 1996 during President Karimov's visit to Washington and talks with then President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

The idea has since evolved as part of "the Great Game" of geo-political rivalries for influence over Central Asia and the Caspian between the US and Turkey on one side and Russia and Iran on the other side.

However, since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack against the US, Washington relations with Moscow have been upgraded. Now Russia form an important part of a US-led coalition against global terrorism. There is no longer mention of the Caspian "corridor" (see background in Vol. 55, Gas Market Trends No. 14).
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Geographic Code:7TURK
Date:Nov 11, 2002
Previous Article:UZBEKISTAN - Independent Export Pipelines.
Next Article:UZBEKISTAN - The Afghan Option.

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