Download Full Text (2.7 MB)


This monograph examines Russia’s policy toward the Caspian Sea region as Moscow attempts to counterbalance growing American involvement within what it perceives to be its zone of privileged interest. It focuses on the recent expansion of the Caspian Flotilla and the rationale behind it. Moscow has sought to counterbalance the growing involvement of other actors in the region, which has led to rising tension between Russia and its southern neighbors. The primary objectives of the research are to examine Russian perceptions of threat and security in the Caspian region and assess the implications for other actors. This monograph analyzes the drivers of the increasing competition for influence, focusing on developments within the energy sector, and assesses the implications of Russia’s consolidation of its dominance for security and stability in the region. This issue is important because a clear understanding of Russian strategic thinking and threat perception in the Caspian Sea is vital in order to facilitate effective U.S. policy in the wider Caucasus and Central Asian region.



Publication Date



Russia; Caspian Sea; Caucasus; Central Asia

Russia and the Caspian Sea: Projecting Power or Competing for Influence?