Many Countries Have Economic Stakes in Ukraine

by Bobby Reyes

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan meets the President of the European Council to discuss issues of cooperation in trade, energy security, Southern Gas Corridor, and transport in July 2021 | Photo by President. az via Wikimedia Commons

Part XVI: The Ukraine Crisis

Many countries have economic stakes in a peaceful, progressive, and independent Ukraine, especially Azerbaijan.

The Kyiv Post reported last January 14th that “trade turnover between Ukraine and Azerbaijan has reached an all-time high of almost $1-billion, (as) President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed during the visit of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to Kyiv.”

According to the said report, “Lofty projects aim to double trade (and) boost investment” between Azerbaijan and Ukraine by 2024. Certainly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine will delay the joint-venture projects. But the reconstruction of Ukraine will mean more-massive projects because of the carnage inflicted by Russia in Ukraine. Perhaps the entire world must participate in the rebuilding and reconstruction of Ukraine as the first step in a universal move to adopt new infrastructures that will address Climate Change (aka Global Warming).

The Republic of Azerbaijan has been mentioned several times in this series. Why? Because both Ukraine and Azerbaijan were members of the U.S.S.R. — along with 12 other countries — that were unofficially colonies of Russia until 1992. And both countries have ample crude-oil and natural-gas deposits that can help supply the import needs of Western Europe.

Readers may Google the oil-and-gas potential of Ukraine and conclude that one of the reasons Russia wants to subjugate and destroy Ukraine and take over its abundant natural resources is because fossil fuel stays underneath the ground no matter the destruction on the surface of Ukrainian land.

Another reason for highlighting Azerbaijan is its strategic location. Here is a map of the public Facebook Group of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, CA.

“But it is also necessary to revive and renegotiate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 into law. The U.S. Senate passed the said legislation by a 98–1 vote and the House by a 400–25 vote. On May 22, 2015, President Obama signed it into law.”

Just look at the countries that share a common border with Azerbaijan: Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. And the Caspian Sea is on the western side of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis decided to build the so-called “Caspian Sea Energy Corridor with Turkey as the top destination.” The pipelines in the said corridor can supply, to a certain extent, the imports by Western Europe of natural gas and oil (now being substantially exported by Russia).

Another factor is that Azerbaijan is the home of a Muslim majority composed of Islam’s two most extensive branches — the Shiites and the Sunnis. And both groups intermarry in Azerbaijan, which also has citizens that are Christians, including a small percentage of Catholics and Jewish settlers. It is why Azerbaijan calls itself the “Land of the Future.” Perhaps we can dub it the “Melting Pot of the Near East and the Islamic World” — if this columnist may add to the slogan.

Azerbaijan’s neighbor to the south of it is Iran, the world’s eighth biggest producer of oil and natural gas. And down further in the Middle East is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the world’s second-biggest oil-and-gas producer. Iran has a Shiite majority, while the KSA is Sunni.

But it is also necessary to revive and renegotiate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 into law. The U.S. Senate passed the said legislation by a 98–1 vote and the House by a 400–25 vote. On May 22, 2015, President Obama signed it into law.

However, on May 8, 2018, President Trump declared that his administration was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and, therefore, unraveled the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama. The ill-advised move by Mr. Trump isolated the United States from its Western allies and sowed uncertainty before a risky nuclear negotiation with North Korea. Readers can read more details in this New York Times article written by Mark Landler.

” … It is high time to expect the Iranian policy and decision-makers to act like statesmen. After all, Iran has been the modern-day show window of the Persian civilization for roughly five millennia.”

There is time to re-negotiate a new treaty with Iran that the leaders of Azerbaijan may facilitate bringing Iranian oil and natural gas to Western Europe via the “Caspian Sea Energy Corridor.” Because in the meantime, as this columnist has suggested, the United States and Canada have to increase their production of crude oil and natural gas and export them to Europe at affordable prices. Yes, as a short-term solution for European needs.

Perhaps also during the new negotiation with Iran, it’s status of being declared a “state sponsor of terrorism” maybe also discussed. It is high time to expect the Iranian policy and decision-makers to act like statesmen. After all, Iran has been the modern-day show window of the Persian civilization for roughly five millennia.

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