War in Karabakh Threatens West’s Energy Security, Says Analyst

BAKU (Armenpress)-The European Union is becoming increasingly concerned with the threat of renewed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a specialist associated with the Academy of the German Armed Forces said on Tuesday.
Johannes Rau of the International Security Forum said in an interview with Azerbaijani media outlet Day.az that the possibility of renewed conflict in the region is a threat to the energy security of the European Union.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, which opened in 2005, is the only pipeline carrying oil out of the former Soviet Union that doesn’t go through Russia. The pipeline covers a distance of 1,099 miles from Azeri oil fields in the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea. It bypasses Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and connects Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to the Georgian Capital of Tbilisi and the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the South-Eastern Mediterranean. The second longest oil pipeline in the world, the BTC, which cost $3.6 billion to construct, has the capacity to transport up to one million barrels o foil per day. By itself, it will supply around 1% of global demand for crude.
But the pipeline runs only 20 miles from the "line of contact" separating Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, which have been in a state of frozen war since the signing of a cease-fire agreement in 1994 gave Karabakh control over it’s territory as well as 7 surrounding districts in Azerbaijan.
The conflict, which has yet to be resolved, is in danger of thawing soon as Azerbaijan continues to funnel its oil revenues into its armed forces. With a military budget now at $2 billion, the Azeri President Ilham Aliyev continues to make louder calls for renewed war to "take back" Karabakh by force.
"For the sake of Europe’s energy security, it is necessary that this conflict be solved in a peaceful way," Rau said, adding that war would spell danger for the European Union and the United States.


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