Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Moscow Moves to Reassert Russian Dominance over Caspian Sea

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 5 – Two events reported today highlight a development few have been paying much attention to: Moscow is moving quickly not just to be an important littoral state on the Caspian but to be the paramount power from north to south much as the Soviet Union was until its collapse in 1991.

            On the one hand, Turkmenistan became the first littoral state to ratify the agreement on the delimitation of the sea, one that specifies the central Central Caspian is for the free use of all the littoral states and where Russia’s Caspian Flotilla is overwhelmingly dominant (

            And on the other, Moscow’s Kommersant reported the Russian military has vetoed plans to sell to Azerbaijan batteries of shore rockets because of concerns such weapons systems could be used against the ships of other nations, including Russia ( and

            That suggests that the recent build up of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla, including the shift of its home base from Astrakhan farther south to Kaspiysk in Daghestan and the expansion of marine units that could be deployed against oil platforms or targets on land is part of a general Moscow plan to ensure that the Caspian will once again be a Russian lake.

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