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October 13, 2022

Nikolay Shulginov: “The Creation of the Greater Caspian Power Ring is Being Considered”

In the current circumstances, there is a clear need to pay more attention to the development of intra-continental Eurasian trade and economic ties, in the energy sector, for example, the possibility of creating the Greater Caspian Electricity Ring is being considered, Nikolay Shulginov said at the REW 2022 panel session ‘Energy as a Foundational Pillar of the Greater Eurasian Partnership’.

The minister recalled that the Greater Eurasian Partnership was created, among others, at the initiative of Vladimir Putin and its main objectives were to strengthen economic cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral levels, as well as to strengthen relations between countries within the framework of various organizations.

“Today, in the context of tectonic geopolitical changes and new challenges, we are more oriented towards the East, towards Asia, and large integration associations – the EAEC, SCO, ASEAN, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and others. We are already working in this area,” he stressed.

Nikolai Shulginov added that it is objectively impossible to move immediately to advanced forms of integration, given the different economic and social structures in the Eurasian countries, so the first priority is to further ‘connect’ the Eurasian continent infrastructure, in particular in the energy sector.

“In terms of building logistics corridors and energy infrastructure, I would like to highlight such major projects as Power of Siberia, Power of Siberia-2, Soyuz-Vostok in Mongolia and TurkStream. The Pakistan Stream project is under consideration. We see the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project towards Pakistan and India with a total length of around 1,735 km as a promising project,” he explained.

According to the Minister, such linking projects and coordinated development are the basis of partnership. “Given the challenges in terms of shifting supply chains, energy and transport projects will strengthen technological interaction and solve the issue of technological sovereignty without linking our own technologies with those of the West,” added Nikolay Shulginov.

In addition, the Energy Minister also expressed support for the initiative of the Iranian delegation, announced at the end of the 2nd Caspian Economic Forum, to establish Caspian countries' committees for cooperation in the fields of transport, oil and gas, as well as electricity.

“In this regard, we are also considering the possibility of creating the Greater Caspian Power Ring. But this requires not just coordinating energy projects, transport corridors, and development programmes, but also taking new practical steps. Work is continuing in this direction,” the Minister said.

However, the implementation of a large-scale project such as the Greater Caspian Power Ring will require significant stakeholder input, with a feasibility study being the first to be carried out.

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