This is a blog for use in both of my HIS 241 and HIS 242 Russian history survey courses at Northern Virginia Community College.

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17 October 2007

The Caspian Lake, Sea or Pond: A New Near Eastern Conflict Zone?

The recently concluded summit in Tehran, involving the shoreline countries of the Caspian (Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), provided another opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to throw Russia's economic weight (natural resources) onto the world stage. Disputes over who should control the oil and natural gas fields of the Caspian (the fish are already dead or dying) between the bordering countries of the water body--there is disagreement over whether it is a "sea" or a "lake"--could get very unpleasant in the near future (unless Putin gets his way).
ps. Technically, the Caspian is not part of the Near East, but what could happen there could very much be of the same model as the discords plaguing the Near East.

1 comment :

AKW said...

This reminds me of a recent story about the Aral Sea, and its possible revival, that appeared recently on NPR. For the story, see