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Caspian Summit in the Context of Global Conflicts

Caspian Summit in the Context of Global Conflicts
Alexander Nagorny, Nikolay Konkov 06.11.2007

The meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenia which took place on October, 16th in Teheran turned out to be not too loud but extremely effective and with far-reaching consequences. Some of them were already revealed but the most important should be shown later.


First of all it concerns the basic decision of the "Caspian Five" that resources of the world's largest sea-lake cannot be used by representatives of any third countries.


Real stocks of hydrocarbons of the Caspian shelf is - one of the most strictly protected trade secrets of the modern world. Different The spread of public estimations here makes almost hundreds times - depending on it the picture of the future global world sharply varies. One thing is if oil "will run low" to the second half of the current century, - and it's absolutely different if "black gold" will suffice approximately as early as in 50-70 years. Anyway, "great oil-and-gas arch" going from sands of Saudi Arabia through the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Iran, Caspian and Volga to the Western Siberia is being considered to be studied quite well - with the exception of this very Caspian Shelf.


Basically, the character of the Teheran declaration should testify that this "oil-and-gas jug" is far not empty. That oil of Azerbaijan and the Chechen Republic, Northern Iran and Kazakhstan in geological sense - is only "a scum on milk". But, on the other hand, who can guarantee that the "Caspian Five" thus does not bluff creating itself additional "degrees of freedom" both in political and in especially economic sense?


But the fact that it was made and the way it was made - delivered the modern "global" world imperceptible, however tremendous strike. Principles of "the liberal market", certainly, were on the way out without it after unprecedented rise in 90th years of the last century. Accruing crisis phenomena in the American and European economy led to revival of various forms of protectionism - for the present "soft" but with the obvious tendency to greater toughening.


However in Teheran-2007 the protectionism ceased to be internal business of "gold billion", it was acquired and adopted no by one or two countries of "the third world" but the whole (and integral enough) region. Thus the machine of global redistribution of resources in favour of population of "the first world" started to give failures not only at a level of management (similar happened and earlier) but also at a level of speaking conditionally "iron".

On mere chance there was notorious Bill Gates's overthrow from a pedestal of the richest person of the modern world. Now the founder of well-known Microsoft who had been staying at the top of global financial success for more than decade handed over powers firstly to Mexican Karlos Slim and now - to the Indian Mukesh Ambani. And it, alongside with a rise in prices for energy carriers and other kinds of raw material, can serve let indirect but the conclusive evidence of the fact that "the process is gaining traction", that shifting of the "load center" aside "the third world" becomes reality.


Meanwhile this process in many respects is connected with activity of the transnational corporations which actively "put away" manufacture of the goods and services out of the borders of "parent" economies of "the first world".


But as a result those who produce nothing start to live in debt at those who really works. The same transnational corporations, eventually, appear to be compelled to leave from the consumer markets of the countries, to the greater degree guided by "the growing markets" of Asia and partly Latin America.


It is asked, whether it is possible to develop this process invertedly or at least to suspend it? Yes, it is possible and techniques of this turn are very well worked over in history including history of XX century. These are techniques of war. And they have been switched on to the full capacity.


The fact that commission on the international affairs of the American Congress approved resolution on recognition of a genocide of Armenians in Ottoman empire of 1915 as if in advance, some days prior to the summit in Teheran, speaks only that all events in the modern world are quite predictable. The more that Azerbaijan closely connected with Turkey, aspiring actively to NATO and more than simply interested in the settlement of the conflict in Karabakh and independent from Russia transit of Caspian hydrocarbons quite possibly could play in "the five" functions of "astray kazachok".  


Further chain reaction of events in Near-Caspian region is also worthy attention. The Kurds taken by the Americans and Israelis under joint protection instantly put forward the plan of distribution of the rights to autonomy for the Kurdish population of Turkey, Iran and Syria with prospect of their subsequent uniting into a certain ethnic confederation. They went from words into actions having sharply activated military operations against Turkish army.


The answer of Ankara didn't keep waiting. Having warned official Washington that recognition by the Congress of the fact of genocide of the Armenians "will cause the heaviest consequences", the prime-minister Erdogan made blitz-visit to Israel and received there assurances that the Jewish state would not object to intrusion of Turkish armies into Kurdish zone of Iraq and it wouldn't support Working Party of Kurdistan. At the present moment almost 150-thousand "corpse of intrusion" is concentrated on the Turkish-Iraqi border and the gun can fire at any moment.


It is clear that Turkish militarians won't limit themselves with exclusively Kurdish zone of operation, it is inevitable that into a zone of the conflict both Sunnites and Shiites of Iraq will be involved. And it means that Iran, most likely, cannot stand aside having supported religiously close to it Shiites.


Despite of opposite positions on some questions - for example, on Armenian - Ankara and Teheran till now maintained quite neutral relations with each other. But in case of war everything could change very quickly.


Direct collision of Turkey with Iran, great interMuslim war on Middle East - objectively corresponds to the interests both of Israel and the USA. "Let them kill each other as much as possible", - as Harry Trumen said in 1941 about intrusion of Germany into the Soviet Union.


America itself, as it's known, despite of all menacing pirouettes around the nuclear program of Teheran didn't take courage to attack Iran. Israel also didn't dare to do it, having remembered about recent discomfiture which its actions against Shiite "Hezbollah" in Lebanon turned out to be. Not the last role was played by the deliveries of modern rocket - antiaircraft technique from Russia. To them after Teheran-2007 were added modernization of motors for the planes of the Iranian Air Force. Neither Tel-Aviv, not Washington can't pity "cannon fodder", so to say, by definition.


In other words, today in the Middle East the disputed potential has objectively reached critical level. Practically all is ready to a big war. And the fact how serious it is, probably, best of all is shown by suddenly interrupted by Mahmud Ahmadinejad - without explanation of reasons - official visit to Armenia.


As soon as the Turkish army had come to movement on borders with Iraq, the president of Iran immediately went home from Yerevan. The memorial devoted to genocide of 1915 remained not visited, flowers to the victims - not put: sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

Rather characteristic episode - the protest of the Jewish community of Armenia against award to Mahmud Ahmadinejad of a rank of the honourable professor and a gold medal of the Yerevan state university. Besides "standard" charges in anti-Semitism there were demands to send to resignation rector of Yerevan State University. Taking into account the beginning of presidential elective campaign in Armenia and participation in it (on the part of opposition) of the first president of the republic Levon Ter-Petrosyan, these internal political conflicts can in the near future cost a lot to Yerevan - certainly, if Baku will receive sufficient military-political support from Turkey.


Let's emphasize: meanwhile all this are only probable scripts of the development of events around Near-Caspian region. However, if they, God forbid, will be realized, Russia will not notice how it will appear in epicentre of events. Even because the precedent of Nagorny Karabakh will instantly affect position of Georgia in relation to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Certainly, Moscow can leave its fellow citizens in these not recognized republics - there are the overwhelming majority of them there - to the mercy of fate. In fact it left to the mercy of fate its fellow citizens in the 90th in former union republic or in the Chechen Republic...


But now, on a background of all patriotic rhetoric of the prevailing authorities, it will be apprehended not simply as treachery but as provocation. Such things can't be forgiven at all. To nobody and never.


Therefore present "after-Tegeran's" silence of the Kremlin in relation to the same Turkish-Kurdish contradiction looks hardly justified. Having told "A" one should say "B" and all other letters of the alphabet - as required. It is impossible to exclude probabilities that meanwhile there is no such need - at last there are special public services which task is to provide heads of the country not only with trustworthy information but also to predict succession of events in the nearest, intermediate and strategic prospect. However, events in Near-Caspian region today are developing so promptly and in so adverse key for Russia that it becomes simply dangerous to rest on laurels of recent successes (the meeting in Teheran was doubtless diplomatic success of the Kremlin).


While the United States playing a role of peacemakers and "democratizators", future arbitrators defining who is right and who is guilty, the winners and the beaten slowly leave Iraq, releasing a stage for other characters and executors, Russia, in our opinion, is simply obliged to declare its interests in the "Caspian Zone" and inadmissibility of "export" of any military conflicts here.


At that considering, that two countries (Russia and Kazakhstan) from the states of the "Caspian Five" are full members of the Shanghai organization of cooperation (SCO) and two more (Iran and Turkmenistan) have there the status of observers, involvement of mechanisms of SCO for maintenance of stability in near-Caspian region looks quite probable.


Though the present aggravation has begun after the end of the regular General assembly of the United Nations, Russia as a constant member of Security Council can quite use a tribune of this still authoritative organization for discussion of a question of possible Turkish aggression in Iraq and measures of international counteraction to it.


Eventually, there is also rather significant potential of bilaterial Russian-Turkish relations (for example, in sphere of power, tourism and so on) which also can be thrown into the scale of peace and war in the region of Middle East.


We shall repeat: meanwhile there is no sense to involve all these levers of diplomatic pressure upon participants of inflaming conflict. But it's necessary at least to define the line of conduct in this direction.
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