October 2014

Polish-Latvian consultations on Latvia’s Presidency of EU Council

Strategic goals of Latvia’s Presidency of the EU Council and preparations for the October European Council meeting were the main focus of consultations between MFA Undersecretary of State Henryka Mościcka-Dendys and her Latvian counterparts: Undersecretary of State for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Inga Skujiņa, and Deputy Secretary of State for EU Funds at the Ministry of Finance, Armands Eberhards. The talks were held in Warsaw on 6 October.

Summit of heads of Caspian region states in Astrakhan

By Victor Nadein-Raevsky

In the run-up to the summit of the “Caspian Five” in Astrakhan on 29 September 2014 the main issue for the states surrounding the Caspian Sea is the same as it was twenty years ago: the question of how the Caspian shelf should be divided. No new treaties on this question have emerged during the period since the collapse of the USSR. The main reason for this is the substantial disagreements on the matter of dividing this inland sea’s shelf and the use of its waters and natural resources.

Putin and Nazarbayev Launched New “Eurasia”

In Atyrau, which situates on the north Caspian bank, the XI Forum of Interregional Cooperation of Kazakhstan and Russia took place with the participation of the Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin. The Heads of the states discussed energy issues as well as the agenda of the oncoming summits – of the heads of the Customs Union states (CU) and of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to be held on October 10 in Minsk. This day the joining of Armenia to the integration project shall be announced.

Caspian Sea Littoral States’ Perspectives on the Southern Gas Corridor, EU Cooperation and Chinese Dominance

By Eldar Latypov

The Caspian Basin was, and still is, one of the most important reservoirs of oil and gas in the world - the  second largest in the world after the Persian Gulf. It is close to a number of important consumer countries  in Eurasia, but on the other hand it lacks open-sea access to world markets. The Caspian contains large volumes of oil and natural gas reserves, in offshore deposits and in onshore fields in the immediate region. It is estimated that it contains 48 billion barrels of oil and 8.7 tcm of gas in proven or probable reserves. A recent trend to strengthen the position of exporters by arranging long-term relationships with neighboring consumers (especially China) and by looking for new markets (e.g. the European Union) was seen among the region’s energy suppliers. There is, as a consequence, a huge difference between regional cooperation and potential competition in Caspian energy sector.