The conflict in Georgia is about oil and security.

13 Aug

According to AP report, ‘Georgia conflict stokes energy supply concerns’, the conflict in Georgia, has caused the EU to be unduly worried about its energy supplies.

The Baku Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which runs through Georgia and is independent of Russia, was reported to be ‘almost hit by’ Russian bombs. This conduit ‘transports 1 million barrels of Caspian crude to international markets from suppliers’. In addition, Georgia also ships ‘Caspian crude from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan’ from its Black Sea ports at a staggering daily amount of ‘500,000 barrels’. Not to forget that Georgia also transports gas to the West.

In 2002, Gary Leupp, who wrote in Counterpunch, ‘Georgia and the “War on Terrorism’ also cited oil as the main factor for US interest in the country. I quote,

But the issue is really oil, not “security.” The principal U.S. interest in Georgia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union has been in its strategic position straddling the Caucasian isthmus; the oil fields underneath and bordering the Caspian Sea, principally in Azerbaijan, are thought to hold 10% of the world’s oil and natural gas reserves, worth maybe $5 trillion. U.S. and British corporations have been negotiating with Georgia to route oil through its territory to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in NATO member Turkey…

and

… But, again: it’s all about oil. The Los Angeles Times reported March 19: “[Georgian officials] see the U.S. program as designed to avert possible future threats, to prop up the weak and corrupt Georgian state in a region of U.S. oil interests and to strengthen America’s foothold in the Caucasus.”

There is no doubt that ‘oil’ plays an important factor in the current Georgian conflict. The West seeks to reduce its oil dependence on Russia through Georgian pipelines. This is discomforting  to Russia which perceives Georgia’s close relationship with the US and Europe, as a threat to its sphere of influence. This view held by Moscow is valid given US bases are located in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

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