Ahmed Alili: Russia and Iran Focus on Military Aspects

Baku / 24.08.18 / Turan: Signing the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian shows that disagreements between the littoral states are overcome. This opinion was expressed in the interview to the program Chetin Sual (Difficult Question) of IA Turan by the expert on international management Ahmed Alili.

The parties agreed on the principles of water surface separation. Now we have to agree on a division of the bottom. Initially, the most serious contradictions were in the positions between Iran and Russia. However, later their priorities changed somewhat and Moscow and Tehran began to pay more attention to security issues and military cooperation in the Caspian.

In addition, Russia had previously prevented the construction of gas pipelines in the Caspian Sea in order to maintain its monopolistic position in the gas market in Europe. However, the prospect of delivering American liquefied gas to Europe, as well as the possibility of transporting Turkmen gas and Kazakh oil to China showed that Russia would not be able to maintain its monopoly.

The signing of the Caspian Convention for the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran became very important, and therefore they accelerated its implementation, the expert believes.

According to Alili, if Russia and Iran are interested in resolving security issues, then Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are interested in economic cooperation.

Against the backdrop of global and regional changes, the division of the Caspian Sea has created a direct transport route from Iran to Russia.

Iran and Russia have also achieved recognition of the principle that the military forces outside the regional countries cannot be present in the Caspian.

As for economic cooperation, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are located on the East-West transit corridor. Turkmenistan has the opportunity to join the Southern Gas Corridor and enter the markets of Europe.

As for Moscow's assertion that the construction of underwater pipelines requires the consent of all countries, the expert recalled that Russia can prevent the construction of pipelines under the pretext of harming the Caspian's ecology. However, if the international audit gives a positive assessment, Moscow will have no reason to block construction.

At the same time, recently Russia has begun to express positive assessments regarding TAP and TANAP. This gives grounds to believe that Russia is eyeing its participation in the energy projects of the Caspian Sea.

Refusal to deploy military bases of other countries does not mean refusing to transit military cargo. So, Azerbaijan participates in the transit of cargo to Afghanistan and vice versa and is unlikely to give it up in the future.

At the same time, Azerbaijan was sensitive to the flights of Russian aircraft over the Caspian Sea, delivering military cargo to Syria. In addition, Russia several times launched the Caliber missile to Syria from its warships near the Azerbaijani coast. -03D06--

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