Remarks by Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy J. Wolf on Caspian Energy Diplomacy, Almati, 4 October 2000

The transportation corridor I describe isn't just a means for moving oil. The security and stability it portends are prerequisites for securing and sustaining the massive investment needed for Caspian energy projects to proceed. An east-west transportation corridor will bolster the independence and prosperity of the new states of the Caspian, strengthen regional cooperation, and enhance investment opportunities for U.S. and other companies. It also will increase global energy security and benefit international energy markets by providing a safe, new oil export route that reaches world markets directly. The U.S. approach is simple, straightforward, and basically unselfish when compared with the historic efforts of others in the region.

Let me re-emphasize one point. The United States derives no direct economic benefit from any particular pipeline routes. We have no territorial ambitions. Some consider the United States a relative newcomer to the Caspian region. True, but we think that we have brought a needed, new perspective. We and our western partners also have brought new investment, modern business techniques, and environmentally safe technologies that are accelerating the area's development. Our underlying objective is to empower the people and governments of the Caspian region to build sustainable and balanced economic growth; to construct efficient and just government structures; and to acquire the world-class technologies and techniques that will safeguard the Caspian Sea's fragile and long suffering environment.

In short, this empowerment aims to help the region's governments and peoples to make their own decisions about their lives, their political welfare, and their future economic prosperity. Big changes have happened over the past decade; much more still is needed. One parenthetic point -- the work of institution building, and help to people of this region to build modern institutions is not a responsibility of governments alone. You in the private sector need to play a very active role building public/private partnerships. Why, because as you have learned all around the world, it makes enormous business good sense.