ABSTRACT. Regions, rich in energy resources, continue to be of crucial interest for our carbon-powered world. There are numerous things at stake to begin with, from international legal status, ownership rights, energy routes, transit corridors, state and corporate interests, environmental hazards and the overall puzzle of energy diplomacy. Additionally, Caspian is troubled with its own specific set of complexities that we list in our work. They range from the undefined legal status, territorial disputes, ethnic instabilities and vicinity to other hot spots, such as the turmoil Middle East and the more recently sparked conflict in Ukraine. Because of its geographical setting, the Caspian is also of central interest for the European energy security, although the supply chain from the region has been traditionally kept under Russian control. However, for the past decade or so, the EU is becoming increasingly ambitious in planning Caspian pipelines that exclude Russian territory and the Nabucco Pipeline project was in the centre of these strategic efforts for a considerable amount of time. And even with the latest development in the Caspian, signaling the signing of a legal agreement on the status of the Caspian Sea, it will nevertheless remain at a crossroads between grand and conflicting energy interests of Russia and Western Europe, be it a sea or a lake. pp. 237–264

Keywords: Caspian Basin; energy security; energy diplomacy; pipelines; geopolitics; economic interests; EU supply route; international maritime law; Central Asian instabilities

How to cite: Bajrektarevic, Anis H., and Petra Posega (2016), “The Caspian Basin: Geopolitical Dilemmas and Geoeconomic Opportunities,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 8(1): 237–264.

Received 18 August 2015 • Received in revised form 21 December 2015
Accepted 22 December 2015 • Available online 27 December 2015


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