Azerbaijan in stand by mode
By Messenger staff
Thursday, December 11It looks as if Azerbaijan is not in a hurry to proceed with the NABUCCO project because it is caareful not to upset Moscow. It appears Azerbaijan has decided to transport natural gas to Europe not only through Georgia and Turkey but Russia as well.
It is known that Russian Gazprom has offered to buy the entire Azerbaijani output of natural gas at European prices. However experts think that the West and USA will try to promote the alternative natural gas transport routes which bypass Russia.
It is geographically inevitable that anything in transit from east to west, be it oil or gas, must pass through Georgia. Now the EU and US are trying not to allow the Kremlin to control the routes through Georgia, which provide alternatives to Russian energy dominance. Moscow knows that while it retains a monopoly on supplying natural gas to the West it has a big lever of political and other influence in Europe, and it is doing its best to blackmail different countries to bring them under its influence.
Azerbaijan is in a difficult position; so far it has managed to strike a balance between the West and Russia, but the Russian invasion of Georgia was a very sad and dramatic example of what might happen there. So it is under fire from both directions. Russia is making commercially tempting offers, but any decision on these will be not only a business decision, but one with very serious geopolitical consequences. It is up to Azerbaijan to decide, but the West has to urgently give the country guarantees of its security, which should be done as soon as possible.