Das Kaspische Meer - Binnensee am äußersten Rande Europas

November 28, 2023 | 18:15-19:45 | Lecture Hall III, Main Building University of Bonn

The security policy picture in the Caspian Sea region was subjected to radical upheavals after the end of the bipolar world order. The dissolution of the Soviet Union has left behind a region on both sides of the Caspian Sea that remains characterized by a complex security constellation. Due to its considerable energy reserves and its exposed geographical location between several strategic ellipses, the Caspian region has repeatedly presented itself as the scene of rival special interests and geopolitical wrangling over new pipeline routes.
For decades, the controversial foreign policy interests of external players and various security policy alliances have determined the regional dynamics. While Russia demonstratively endeavors to maintain its hegemonic claims to participation in regional security policy processes, increasing economic and security policy activity by another world power has been observed since the early 2000s. With the centerpiece of its foreign policy, the Silk Road Initiative, China is gradually positioning itself as a strong regional power and is struggling for decision-making autonomy in the Caspian region. In light of the geopolitical upheavals, Ankara is also looking for new strategic areas of action.  A new geostrategic positioning is being sought, particularly in the Caspian region, where Turkey shares cultural, confessional, ideological and economic similarities with many countries and ethnic groups.
There is no doubt that relations between these regional players are not exactly free of conflict. Within this power triangle, however, a certain convergence of interests can be observed, which manifests itself in a ruling order to oust Western actors from the regional security architecture.
What do these changed conditions mean for the European Union, which has been trying for years to define its foreign policy vision in this strategically highly relevant corridor? The main focus of the presentation will be on this problem by illustrating the risks and opportunities of the new geopolitical upheavals in the Caspian region for the EU. On the basis of these considerations, strategic future scenarios for European involvement will also be discussed.



Dr. Shushanik Minasyan-Ostermann

Research assistant, Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn


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