Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rusya'dan Cin'a, Turkestan yoksa

There's a saying that has followed the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline that I don't remember the exact Turkish phrasing of. It might have been like the title of this, but I don't remember exactly. I'm good that way. Anyways, the idea behind the pithiness was "From Azerbaijan to Turkey, but not in Armenia" to reflect the political realities of the time.

Well, similar sorts of things are going on in the East. Russia is currently bidding and building a pipeline that goes into China. It skips the Amur entirely and comes into China from Manchura. Which is really inconvenient and a pain to build, but hey, it keeps those persnickety Uighurs away from it. This here is another break they can't catch after, well, they haven't caught many.

This sort of thing is actually pretty standard. And its a drop in the bucket in costs compared to the whole lots of major issues that can go wrong with sloppy security on pipelines in Siberia (link is to one of my favorite Cold War stories, btw). So yeah, its cynical, its wasteful...but it theoretically works. Until some dude gets pumped up about Buryatia Azadi or something.

But its fun to see this sort of thing. Buck-passing and shrugging about big nasty problems because hey, we have money to make. It's not rare or at all newsworthy, but I like mentioning it anyways.

And in semi-related news, Columbia University has discovered Central Asia. It's worth a read, for sure, so check out their bit on water ish, bad formatting and all. It only begins to get at some of those problems and doesn't even mention Roghun. But still, lets give them the pavlovian response they expect from CAsia nerds.

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