Astrakhan Region in the System of Russia’s Geopolitical Priorities in the Current International Situation
The Astrakhan region has historically served as a significant centre of Russian presence in the Caspian region for centuries. Since the late 20th century, following the geopolitical shifts caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Astrakhan’s role in Russia’s Caspian policy has acquired considerable prominence.
SpecialEurasia discussed with Alexandr Sharov, General Director of the transport company LLC Neftekhimtrans, Group of companies Rusiranexpo, the current geopolitical significance of the INSTC and possible future developments and impact in the Eurasian strategic chessboard.
Iran and Dagestan have increased their trade exchange through the Makhachkala Commercial Port, where the Kremlin has invested financial funds to transform this infrastructure into a logistic hub in the Caspian Sea, which might undermine the role of the close port of Baku in Azerbaijan.
The Second Caspian Sea Economic Forum highlighted regional countries’ strategies to implement their cooperation in logistics, transport corridors, tourism and energy projects.
SpecialEurasia attended the International Round Table “Caspian Economic Forum-2022” together with experts and scholars from Caspian Sea countries, NGOs, and representatives of the Chamber of Trade and Industry of the Astrakhan region, mass media and state authorities, to discuss current geopolitical and economic dynamics in the region and forecast future trends.
In October 2022, representatives of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Russia will attend the second Caspian Economic Forum hosted in Moscow to discuss future energy cooperation and projects.
The sixth summit of the Caspian Sea states underlined the region’s geopolitical importance and the desire of every country involved to resolve legal status and issues and promote cooperation in transport, logistics and trade.
Iran will play a primary role in the import-export activities in the Dagestani port of Makhachkala. The recent meeting between Dagestan and Iran’s representatives showed mutual interest in expanding trade cooperation and transit agreement.
In the emerging realities of international relations, it seems crucial to develop an understanding of how the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which escalated in 2022, will affect the situation in various regions of Eurasia, for example, in the Caspian region, which after the collapse of the USSR turned into one of the most important and complex geopolitical problems of international relations.
Islamabad strategy in the Eurasian geopolitical chessboard aims at strengthening cooperation with Iran and Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea to create a transit corridor that might boost Pakistani import-export and commercial trade in the region.
Russia plans to develop the infrastructure of the port of Makhachkala to transform the Dagestani capital into a logistic hub in the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus region and boost socio-economic development. Moscow’s desire to upgrade Makhachkala’s seaport and airport challenges the city of Baku, and the Azerbaijani aim to become the Caspian interconnection.
Iran and Russia are strengthening their bilateral cooperation in the field of scientific research focusing their attention on the Caspian Sea since the region plays a strategic role in the international arena and energy market.