Grabbing at Central Asian Energy
The European Union hopes to increase significantly its on-site
diplomatic muscle in Central Asia by 2008. This will expand its
influence in the energy-rich region—vital to a strategy to
reduce its reliance on Russian energy imports.
As outlined by an EU strategy paper dated February 2 and
submitted to member states by Germany, the EU anticipates
opening embassies in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan—the last two of which possess massive natural gas
The document recommends allocating heavy financial resources to
support its “breakthrough” into Central Asia and to bring the
four states plus Turkmenistan into the international community.
Germany has specifically proposed funding development projects
including the construction of a new gas pipeline from Central
Asia along the Caspian seabed to Europe.
The document, according to one EU diplomat, was “designed to
send a political signal to our partners, to the five states in
question and to Russia, China and the U.S. We are saying—look we
want to be in there, we want to work there” (EUobserver.com,
Some experts say the EU’s plans to compete with Russia and China
for new pipelines are doomed to fail. Still, this recent
initiative highlights Europe’s Achilles’ heel: foreign energy
dependence. The Bible foretells that Europe will invade the
Middle East with “whirlwind” ferocity in the near future. Energy
demand will likely play a large role in instigating the next big
Middle East war.