America Abroad: Pipeline Politics and Caspian Conflict

Follow the money — it's flowing from countries hooked on oil to those who control the crude. And it's not just the Middle East that's cashing in. Russia's resource-rich backyard has President Vladimir Putin standing on a pile of petro dollars, trying to make sure no one touches his Caspian stash. But since the break-up of the Soviet Union, an area that Russia considers its backyard is one that the U.S. considers fair game. Today, the only pipeline to the West that doesn't feed Russia's coffers passes through America's ally Georgia, the site of a recent dust-up. Staggering oil prices only fuel the competition for power and influence — and the potential for conflict — in the former Soviet states. Pipeline Politics and Caspian Conflict touched down in Moscow, Tblisi and Baku to explore the pipeline politics between Russia and the West.

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