CASPIAN SEA ii. DIPLOMATIC HISTORY IN MODERN TIMES History
CASPIAN SEA ii. DIPLOMATIC HISTORY IN MODERN TIMES
A new area of sub-systemic studies in international relations, which encompasses the Caspian basin and its immediate surroundings, emerged in the post-Soviet Union era.
ii. Diplomatic History in Modern Times.
A new area of sub-systemic studies in international relations, which encompasses the Caspian basin and its immediate surroundings, emerged in the post-Soviet Union era, with its own prior long standing and complex regional history of competition and conciliation heretofore told predominantly in the context of southern Russian/Soviet Union and northern Persian relations.
Until the middle of the 16th century, the Caspian Sea as a waterway, had served the limited interests of its immediate coastal communities. With the Russian conquest of the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan by the 1560s, the Caspian became for Moscow a geopolitical extension of the Volga River system. This meant an increase in Russo-Persian trade (Ferrier, p. 429; Kazemzadeh, p. 314), and, much to the delight of European traders, particularly the English, this also meant that the trade from Persia and Central Asia could reach the European heartland by way of the Danube, rather than the Ottoman or trans-oceanic routes.
In the second half of the 16th century, the security of the primary sea-lanes of communication in the Astrakhan-Darband-Estrābād/Astarābād triangle rested on the good order of the coasts and ports belonging to the Caspian’s two sovereignties, the Romanovs of Russia and the Safavids of Persia. The beginnings of the Russian authority in the northern part of the Caspian proved tentative, as Astrakhan itself, which had been captured by Russia in 1554, was sacked in 1569, and a year later Moscow itself was burned at the hands of the Tatars allied with the Ottoman Turks, who wished to divert the Astrakhan trade to Crimea (Ferrier, pp. 429, 435-36).