The chain of exciting crises in Georgia has taken much attention away from the ‘big issue’ that shapes Caucasian security – the development of the Caspian hydrocarbons. It was President Putin who implicitly reminded about the forthcoming breakthrough in the Caspian area in his May 26 address the to Russian Parliament. That speech consisted mostly of feel-good Brezhnev-style generalities but the point on a new pipeline bypassing the Bosporus straights was taken in a remarkably direct manner. Moscow might have been caught unprepared by president Saakashvili’s peaceful ‘blitzkrieg’ in Ajaria but it certainly keeps a watchful eye on the race of Caspian pipelines that comes to the final stage.
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