Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 9
By Anakhanum Idayatova – Trend:
The North-South transport corridor project has a tremendous potential for Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia, says Ariel Cohen, PhD, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and director of the Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.
“It is also very attractive for India, which is lacking direct land access to Europe,” Cohen told Trend Aug. 9.
The expert noted that there are two major limitations to the project: financial and geopolitical.
“Between the three countries, there are simply not enough funds to build modern railroads and highways,” he said. “The project would go faster if foreign, especially Middle Eastern and Western finances are attracted.”
“Finally, as long as Russia is under sanctions, it makes commerce through that country less attractive,” noted Cohen.
The expert believes that one of the major areas of corporation between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan would be the agreement on the national sectors of the Caspian Sea.
“Such agreement should allow full continental shelf development, including the pipelines across the Caspian,” he said. “For example, the natural gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan makes sense. However, it is not in the interest of Russia and Iran, and it is stalled.”
“Beyond that, the natural gas sectors of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran are competitors,” said Cohen, adding that all projects can be developed without one country blocking another.
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