One of the basic foundations of the American foreign policy is the principle of exerting control over energy resources worldwide so that to preserve the status of the leading superpower. It was in 1997 that the Caspian littoral region was declared the zone of American national interests due to vast reserves of oil and gas hold by the Caspian littoral states. Since that time Washington has been applying persistent effort to establish its control over transport and energy facilities in the Caspian region, both being constructed and already functioning (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, Nabucco and Trans-Adriatic Project to substitute it). Washington has been also intensely involved in local political events all this time.
Revolution of roses in Georgia and the subsequent support of the Saakashvili’s regime over many years can serve one of the latest examples of how political elites of the littoral states on the shores of the Black and Caspian seas can be affected by the White House’s pressure.
Civil disobedience started in Armenia in the middle of June this summer as everyday dispute first and then quite suspiciously heightened up to massive political standoff. This is actually a vivid example of how American strategy works to make the regional states politically and economically dependent on Washington. The plan has been clearly far from its fulfillment yet and the violence in Armenia is actually fading away. Still, some politicians and public organizations under the watchful eye of Washington have been moving, step by step, in the direction of creating the ‘democratic opposition’.
The letter by Karren Hilliard, the USAID Mission Director in Armenia, to Artur Sakunts, President of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office, is quite revealing in the context.
Americans don’t conceal their discontent with the work of the NGOs accountable to them in Armenia. Despite the financial and political support of the White House and USA embassy in Yerevan, those NGOs have failed to set the local society in due motion so far. Americans are also disappointed with Artur Sakunts in charge of these activities. Nevertheless, they are not set to drop the successful strategy at all, planning, according to Hilliard, one more ‘colored’ revolution in neighboring Azerbaijan. Control over Azerbaijan would mean most part of the Caspian area getting under the governance of American corporations. It would therefore seem natural to assume that bringing into power American stooges in Azerbaijan won’t be actually the achievement of the all the regional goals set by Washington. No, America will go further persistently establishing loyal administrations in Armenia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan. It will never leave them alone.
With Caspian oil and gas resources in its possession the White House will be able to keep under its control the diversification of hydrocarbon supplies into European markets. In other words, America will have an upper hand in dealing with its formal ally and major economic rival, the EU, that views Caspian oil and gas basin as its sole alternative to such an unreliable transit country as Ukraine.