The vision of a transportation corridor linking Europe to Asia through the Caucasus and Central Asia was conceived almost a soon as the USSR collapsed. However, in spite of progress, major infrastructure remains to be built for this corridor to truly matter. In the past year, geopolitical developments have spurred the states in Central Asia and the Caucasus into action. Major regional states have linked arms like never before to speed this corridor into realization. To discuss the corridor, its challenges and its implications, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute invites you to the following web-based Forum.
- Gen. Gaidar Abdikerimov, Secretary General, TITR (Trans-Caspian International Transport Route)
- Dr. Charles Kunaka, Lead Transport Specialist, Transport Global Practice, World Bank
- Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Research Faculty Member, Energy Academic Group, Naval Postgraduate School
- Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli, Senior Fellow, CACI
In recent months, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have concluded important agreements. This is an indication that the cooperative spirit that has developed in Central Asia is extending across the Caspian Sea to the South Caucasus as well. On November 2, CACI hosted a hybrid Forum discussing the implications of this trend for the wider region.
- H.E. Khazar Ibrahim, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States of America
- H.E. Furqat Sidikov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States of America
- Dr. S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute
- Dr. Svante Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute
Scroll down to watch the recording or click here to watch on YouTube.
Major recent shifts, starting with the Taliban victory in Afghanistan and Russia’s war in Ukraine have led to a resurgence of the Trans-Caspian transportation corridor. This corridor, envisioned in the 1990s, has been slow to come to fruition, but has now suddenly found much-needed support. The obstacles to a rapid expansion of the corridor’s capacity are nevertheless considerable, given the underinvestment in its capacity over many years.For the first time in three decades, the establishment of formidable Trans-Caspian infrastructure has become viable. Shortly following the collapse of the USSR, the United States, the EU and most states of Central Asia and the Caucasus sought to establish Trans-Caspian trade and transport routes, initially focusing particularly on energy, and envisioned these routes as an essential strategic component of linking the region to the West and strengthening the political and economic independence of the countries of the region. Despite close to thirty years of policy efforts, these forces did not succeed in establishing infrastructure that would link both sides of the Caspian Sea in a manner that makes this a corridor for considerable transport of goods or energy. This, however, may be changing. Events in 2022 and 2023 have accelerated efforts of the states in the region to establish viable infrastructure links across the Caspian Sea.
By Mamuka Tsereteli