Are Azer-Armenia conflict and regional energy security interrelated?

Are Azer-Armenia conflict and regional energy security interrelated?
Are Azer-Armenia conflict and regional energy security interrelated?

Conflict experts, political scientists, economists, and financiers believe that the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict will economically affect the region.

The financial results of this confrontation depend on its duration and scales.

The conflict escalated on July 12. Experts say that that the decrease in Turkey's energy dependence on Russia has redistributed political relations in the region.

Experts focus on the growth of the Turkish factor in the region and changes in the political course, affecting the region's economic relations.

Since the spring of 2020, the largest supplier of natural gas to Turkey is not Russia, but Azerbaijan (it provides 23.5% of demand in the Turkish market). Back in 2019, the largest supplier was Russia, which provided 33% of the order, this year, supplies fell to 9.9%.

Researcher in the Rondeli Foundation Zurab Batiashvili considers it no coincidence that the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation began not in the "hot" spot - Karabakh, but in the Tovuz region, where a gas pipeline runs near the line of fire (as well as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars road), which supplies Turkey with Azerbaijani natural gas.

"Ankara thinks it is no coincidence. Thus, Turkey's response to the recent tension in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan was rather harsh concerning the Armenian and Russian sides. Official Ankara has stepped up its efforts in foreign policy, including in the Caucasus. Turkey focuses on its national interests. From this point of view, Turkey will more intensely support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity (as well as Georgia). Turkey could intensify military cooperation with Azerbaijan (this could include the provision of additional drones and air defense systems, as well as intelligence, an increase in the intensity of joint exercises, assistance in the military industry, and military education, and other). However, it does not mean that Ankara is ready to engage in a direct military confrontation with Armenia and Russia... Armenia's membership in the CSTO, the presence of a Russian military base in Gyumri and Russian border guards on the Turkish-Armenian border, remains an essential constraint for Ankara.

Nevertheless, Turkey can plant various (including military) surprises in the Caucasus region for both Yerevan and Moscow. The Turkish side needs allies in the area,'' Batiashvili says.

"Note the statement made by Ankara in January 2020, when Turkey again publicly supported Georgia's membership in NATO. We can expect the country to activate in this respect,'' Batiashvili said.

Notably, Vepkhia Giorgadze, President of the Center for International Research and Forecasting, confirms that TANAP beyond Russia's interests. In his words, Russia is trying to make Georgia involved in this confrontation and poses a threat to the critical southern gas corridor.

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