Kazakh leader calls for Caspian unity to offset OPEC

Dec 29, 2003 01:00 AM

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has called on the five Caspian Sea nations to unite in an organisation that could compete with the powerful OPEC oil consortium.
"International experts say that the Arab countries and OPEC are nervous not only about the scale of Caspian oil resources, but also the fact that Caspian states are not part of the cartel," Nazarbayev told.

"Caspian oil flows may destroy (OPEC’s) might, affect its ability to set high prices and use oil as an instrument of political blackmail," Nazarbayev said.
"So I suggested that Caspian states create an organisation of their own," the Kazakh leader explained, admitting however that "so far this suggestion has not been properly answered".

Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan have been mired in a dispute over access to the resource-rich sea since shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan want to calculate the division in proportion to the length of the five Caspian countries’ coastlines, while Iran and Turkmenistan have insisted that each country get an equal 20 % share.

Source: Khaleej Times
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