Central Asia’s Quest for Warm Waters: From the Caspian Sea to Gwadar Port

Abstract

Central Asia presents a mosaic of cultures and religions which, due to its fertile land and energy resources, has attracted many invaders since the 19th century and even before. The struggle between the UK and erstwhile Russia, former Soviet Union, to capture land started the ‘Great Game.’ The involvement of the regional and extra-regional countries transformed it into the competiting ground over oil and gas; adding geo-political sensitivities to the region. The Central Asian Republics (CARs) are finding it difficult to stay out of the Russian influence. Due to geo-economic strategies of various powers involved in Afghanistan and Iran, the land-locked CARs are finding it hard to export oil and gas through the Arabian Sea. Gwadar port, linking to China and the Wakhan Corridor, emerges to be the most suitable option for the CARs and Russia to export their energy resources.

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