The Caspian Basin is increasingly at the center of international energy competi-tion. Turkey aspires to enhance its chances of joining the European Union and increase its credentials as a regional power by making itself into a critical energyhub for oil and gas fl owing from the former USSR to world markets. Russia, Eu-rope’s major energy supplier and in control of major transport networks, is rak-ing in huge profi ts and using its dominance in the international energy sector to increase its clout in international politics. Moscow has carefully moved to limit Ankara’s infl uence over the energy politics in the region. Russia’s behavior in the Caspian, however, has as much to do with competition within the Kremlin for control over the country’s major energy fi rms as it does with geopolitical calcula-tions. This competition is likely to intensify as Russia’s presidential transition ap-proaches and make Russian fi rms increasingly unreliable energy partners.