Headlines from the Caspian: October 4, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Oct 4, 2022
Energy and Economy
President of Azerbaijan Inaugurates First Ever Natural Gas Supply Line to Bulgaria
Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev inaugurated the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB) on October 1 in a ceremony in Sofia. The IGB project will be the first-ever direct supply of Azerbaijani natural gas to Bulgaria. Aliyev also said that this project is part of a greater effort to diversity energy resources to Europe and cited the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed with the European Commission as another display of Azerbaijan's key role in these efforts.
Source: Caspian News
SOCAR AQS Finishes Work on Kazakh Drilling Project
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) in collaboration with Absheron Drilling Company (AQS), finished a drilling project for Kazakhstan's exploration and production, Eureka Oleum. SOCAR AQS’s involvement included supervising drilling of oil wells in three oil fields owned by Eureka Oleum. "SOCAR AQS has extensive experience in providing drilling and well services, and the knowledge and technical capabilities to drill in complex onshore and offshore fields," said Samir Mollayev, CEO of SOCAR AQS."As part of our ongoing international development objectives, the project with Eureka Oleum was another opportunity to provide our proven expertise in the domain.” They provided support for health and safety protocols and data acquisition.
Source: Caspian News
OPEC+ Considers a Substantial Production Cut
According to the New York Times, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) is considering a major cut in oil production (more than a million barrels per day) during its meeting on Wednesday, October 5. The meeting will take place against the backdrop of falling oil prices. This decision to tackle the 25% price drop since June would be the “biggest move yet since the COVID-19 pandemic to address oil market weakness.”
Russia Bans Road Cargo Transportation from Most of Europe
According to the decree signed by Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on October 1, companies from all European Union (EU) countries, Norway, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom will no longer be able to transport goods through Russia by road. The decree comes into force on October 10, and reportedly is in response to restrictions imposed by the mentioned countries for Russian truckers earlier this year. “Goods delivery by road from ‘unfriendly countries’ to final recipients on the territory of Russia will still be carried out - goods from foreign trucks will be reloaded to Russian and Belarusian vehicles at the customs terminal complexes in the border crossings at Pskov, Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Murmansk, Republic of Karelia and St. Petersburg,” Russia’s Ministry of Transport Vitaly Savelyev said.
Russia Points Fingers Over Leaks Discovered in Nord Stream Pipelines
Three leaks were discovered in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are predominantly controlled by the state-controlled Russian energy company, Gazprom. The pipelines are major lines supplying Russian gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The leaks, which were discovered after explosions were detected, have created gas bubbles half a mile wide near Bornholm. European and U.S. officials speculate that the explosions were an act of sabotage and a potential escalation in the “proxy energy war” which began over sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. Russia denies any involvement and blames the U.S. for the explosions.
Source: The New York Times
Turkish Banks Suspend Russia’s Mir Payment System
According to Türkiye’s Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati, three Turkish state banks - Türkiye Halk Bankası, T.C. Ziraat Bankası, and Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası - have suspended the use of Russia’s Mir payment system. The decision comes at a time when the U.S. has been cracking down on those accused of helping Moscow skirt sanctions. Additionally, two Turkish private banks, İşbank and DenizBank, also suspended their use of the Mir system after Washington expanded its sanctions on Russia.
Security and Politics
The Organization of Turkic States to add Turkmenistan as a Member State
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced Turkmenistan will possibly join the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) on November 11, during the next summit in Samarkand. Last year in November, Turkmenistan had joined the OTS as an observer state.
Source: AkiPress, Business Turkmenistan
The CSTO discussed Implementing Mechanisms for Stabilization on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border
Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubaev met with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Stanislav Zas in New York to discuss the CSTO’s role in Central Asia, regional security issues, and the situation on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border which resulted in close to 100 deaths. They agreed to quickly begin creating mechanisms for border stability.
Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia Hold Peace Talks in Geneva
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Azerbaijan, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov met on October 2 in Geneva to begin “drafting the text of the peace treaty.” The Azerbaijani MFA stated that the elements of the peace treaty were based on the five principles proposed by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan called for “full withdrawal of the Armenian armed units from the territories of Azerbaijan, the opening of transport and communication lines”, the ministry said in a statement. According to the Armenian MFA, “The parties exchanged ideas on the peace treaty, ensuring the rights and security guarantees of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Israel to Open Refugee Camps in Azerbaijan for Russian Jews
On October 2, the Israeli government approved a proposal to expedite the immigration of Russians who qualify under the Law of Return citizenship route. The government authorized the Jewish Agency to establish temporary refugee camps in Finland and Azerbaijan for Russian Jews who are seeking to immigrate to Israel. This development comes following Russia’s mobilization order for its war in Ukraine, which has sparked protests and large numbers of people seeking to flee Russia.
Source: Jerusalem Post